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Rupees 24-Lakh Left At UBI's Dhubulia Branch

2015-03-30 15:12

The United Bank of India's Dhubulia branch, where robbers attacked. Picture by PRANAB DEBNATH

NfN NETWORK

Krishnanagar, March 30: A day after theft of Rupees 22.44 lakh at the Purulia branch of United Bank of India, a similar incident of theft came to light in Nadia’s Dhubulia on Monday morning.

A group of miscreants on Sunday night broke open the iron grille of a window to enter the unguarded Dhubulia branch of UBI and decamped with Rupees 24.18 lakh.

The branch is housed on the ground floor of a double storied private building adjacent to NH-34, located barely 300-meter away from Dhubulia police station

Police said that the miscreants cut off the cables of the CCTV cameras after entering inside. Police could only retrieve a small footage from a rear camera, but the poor quality of picture failed to provide any breakthrough to the police.

The UBI authorities have blamed the local police for the theft.

“Ensuring security to the small branches beyond the transaction hours is the responsibility of the police. The branch is close to the police station. If the police were vigilant enough, the theft could have been avoided”, said an officer UBI’s Nadia regional office in Krishnanagar.

“There was patrolling van on the NH 34 and no movements of miscreants were noticed. It appears that the miscreants entered from back side”, a police officer said.

The incident came to light on Monday morning only after the bank was opened for day’s transactions.

A team of Dhubulia police reached the spot soon and initiated investigation. However, no arrest was reported till late this evening.

An investigating officer of Dhubulia police said: “It appears that the miscreants first broke the wooden panel of a window of a back side wall and then broke the iron grille to enter inside late on Sunday night and broke the iron vault by sophisticated electronic cutter. The miscreants also cut off the CCTV cable and the cable of bank’s heist alarm so that police could get no idea of the theft."

“It also appear that the miscreants were at least ten in number and were well informed about the bank’s internal layout”, said a police officer.

Bank Manager Prem Kumar Awasthi said: “This branch has been shifted from this new building barely six months ago. There was no such incident occurred in this bank earlier. We have own security arrangements in the day time during transaction hours. However, we have no provision for security arrangements in the night".

Awasthi, however, refused to explain why no provision for security arrangement available during night hours.

A senior officer at the UBI’s Nadia region office, however, said: “Guarding the small branches across the state is the absolute responsibility of the state police. For this we in every month held coordination meetings with the local police. In Dhubulia too we had also meeting about bank’s security. The police also assured us about security. Looking after the branch became easier to police since it came closer to the police station after the shifting. But, it is really surprising how police overlooked movements of the miscreants”.

“As per the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India, the Bank authority provides round the clock security in coordination with the police only in those branches where ‘currency chest’ is kept. Dhubulia was not such a branch. So ensuring security to it beyond transaction hour is the responsibility of the police”, the officer said.

Officer in charge of Dhubulia police Pintu Sarkar refused to make any comment on the matter.

Superintendent of police, Nadia Arnab Ghosh said: “We are looking into all the aspect behind the theft. We will hold meetings with the bank authorities soon and talk about their available provisions for ensuring security arrangements of the bank”.

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