After ascertaining the identity and antecedents of the five suspected bank robbers who were gunned down in Velachery by the Chennai Police, investigators in the Crime Branch CID are hoping the ballistic report, expected in about a fortnight, will throw more light on certain crucial aspects of the case.

Sources in the agency said special teams of the CBCID were sent to Bihar, Chattisgarh and West Bengal to confirm the identity of the five suspects and to verify their antecedents. Investigators also examined police personnel involved in the incident and recorded their account of the circumstances that led to the firing in Velachery on the night of February 23, which left five suspects dead and two police Inspectors injured.

Besides examining police personnel involved in the encounter, investigators also recorded the statements of some bank officials and residents living close to the scene of the firing. Ahead of the filing of the charge sheet, the CBCID was relying more on the ballistic report as it was needed to confirm the ‘exchange of fire' theory.

“If the suspects had opened fire, the swab test will ascertain gunpowder residue on their hands. Swabs collected from their bodies have been sent for chemical analysis. The ballistic report will confirm whether the pistols/revolver seized from the scene of encounter can actually fire bullets. It has to be checked whether the ammunition seized from the suspected hideout is compatible with the weapons. We have also sought to know the number of bullets fired from the weapons of the police and suspects,” a police official said.

Sources in the Chennai Police said there was no breakthrough yet in the efforts to trace part of the cash looted by the suspects at gun-point in two nationalised banks here on January 23 and February 20. However, teams were working with their counterparts in Bihar and Maharashtra in this regard.

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