Armed robbery at bank

Staff Reporter

Bank manager and messenger injured

Numbering six, they speak in Oriya

They take away around Rs. 1.70 lakhs

BERHAMPUR: The Pratappur branch of the Rushikulya Gramya Bank (RGB) under Tarsingh police station in Ganjam district became victim of an armed bank robbery on Monday afternoon.

The robbers were six in number. They used guns, crude bombs, knives and swords. But the robbers could not escape with much loot as they could not break open the strong room of the bank. Although the real assessment of the loss is yet to be done, as per initial reports the dacoits may have escaped with around Rs. 1.70 lakhs available at the counters of the branch.

Manager of the bank, Bhagaban Sethi, and the messenger posted at this branch, Bharat Raut, were seriously injured by the dacoits. They were beaten up and stabbed with knives by the robbers who tried hard to take out the keys of the strong room from them. But the keys of the strong room were with the cashier of the bank, who was not present at the branch at the time of robbery.

According to police the group of robbers reached this rural branch around 1.10 pm. According to eyewitnesses they were speaking in Oriya and had tied up handkerchiefs on their faces. They blasted some crude bombs and also shot two rounds into air before entering the bank. When they failed to break open the strong room they preferred to escape from the spot. During escape they again blasted crude bombs and shot into the air to dissuade any villager from following them.

The injured bank officials were carried to the Bhanjanagar hospital. Chairman of the RGB C.Doraiswamy rushed to the spot. He said Mr Sethi would be shifted to SCB medical college, Cuttack, for treatment. A police team with forensic experts reached the spot to conduct investigation. Ganjam Superintendent of Police (SP) said they had started heavy patrolling of areas near the spot as it was suspected that the robbers were locals. All outlets from the area are under watch of the police not to let the robbers escape from the area.

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