Delhi robberies make people worry, police wonder

November 19th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Three daredevil robberies, each in broad daylight and each involving four armed men, all within a span of 10 days in the same city…It’s not a Bollywood blockbuster plot but a series of heists that has left residents in the Indian capital shaky about security arrangements at banks and the police clueless.Over Rs.4.8 million in cash have been lost to these bold thefts, two of which took place in posh south Delhi areas and another in the north. The latest robbery occurred Tuesday morning.

“There is no development in the robbery cases and the matter is being investigated. We are also looking whether it is the handiwork of the same gang but nothing can be stated at this point,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told IANS.

With the police not yet on the hot trail of the culprits, people are scared.

“We go to banks so often. There should be proper security arrangements inside banks. It is really scary to hear such incidents and you never know, you can be a victim some day,” said S.R. Sharma, a retired government employee at Gole Market.

Some people now say they will never go to a bank alone if the transaction amount is huge.

“I feel so scared about going to a bank alone now. I will always ask my friend or a family member to accompany me,” said Sangeeta Singh, an employee with an IT company.

On Tuesday, four men on two motorcycles fled with Rs.1.8 million in cash after firing at the guards of a private security company, A.P. Securitas, when they were carrying cash bags to a bank barely 200 metres from their parked van. It was all over in five minutes.

The incident came just a day after four armed robbers struck at the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur in Samaypur Badli in north Delhi. They came early in the morning.

While one stood at the entrance, the other three went inside and lined up all employees and customers at gunpoint. They took the keys from the manager, and collected cash from vault. They made away with Rs.2.4 million.

Similarly, on the afternoon of Nov 10, four robbers looted Rs.600,000 from the Hauz Khas branch of the UCO Bank in south Delhi. And this time the operation lasted for about 15-20 minutes.

“To think that I was planning to go there that very afternoon gives me the shudders. It shows that people, bank staff, everyone is vulnerable until something is done to step up security,” said Kaveri Ganguly, who has an account at the bank.

According to Delhi Police, advisories related to security arrangements in banks have been sent to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“We had written to the RBI to ask all banks to make proper security arrangements,” said Bhagat.

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