A group of men attacked the Bank of Ceylon branch in Egmore on Thursday afternoon, causing injuries to some employees and police personnel on duty.

Police suspect the attack was in protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India on Friday.

Around 1.30 p.m., 12 masked men arrived in autorickshaws and motorcycles at Jarret Gardens 2nd Avenue, Casa Major Road, where the bank in located in a two-storey building, police said.

They entered the premises by pushing the two policemen on duty and damaged the guardroom and the bank’s signboard on the ground floor. “They barged into the first floor office and attacked clerk Maria Rajesh and trainee Janakan, a city college student, with clubs and shards of glass. The group shouted slogans against Mr. Rajapaksa and damaged the cubicles. They threw whatever object they could lay their hands on at glass partitions and damaged a wall clock,” said an investigating officer.

The attack lasted only a couple of minutes. Eight CCTV cameras installed at different spots in the branch recorded the incidents from 1.30 p.m. to 1.32 p.m. The men did not go to the top floor, where cash was kept.

Maria Rajesh and Janakan were taken to the Government Kilpauk hospital. Their condition was stable. Janakan suffered cut injuries on his back.

According to a senior police official, the attackers have been indentified as members of an outfit. A hunt is on to apprehend them. Additional police security has been provided for the bank and also to the office of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in Nungambakkam, sources said.

In the morning, police arrested a 15-member group that tried to lock the TTD information centre on Venkatanarayana Road in T. Nagar in protest against the visit of Mr. Rajapaksa to Tirupati. They were later released on bail.

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