Security deadline set for ATMs in Bangalore

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 22, 2013 01:30 hrs

Bangalore: Police Thursday set Nov 24 as the deadline for all banks to provide full security at their ATM kiosks across the city in wake of a brutal attack on a woman in an unguarded ATM Tuesday.

"We have set Nov 24, 4 p.m. as deadline for all state-run and private banks to deploy 24-hour security guards at their ATMs in the city, with functioning closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside and outside kiosks and a burglary alarm," city Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told reporters here.

Asserting that the deadline was mandatory, Auradkar said no transaction would be allowed after Monday 4 p.m. from any ATM if the directive was not complied with any bank.

"If any ATM is found without the arrangements stipulated in the order under the police act, its kiosk will be shut and transactions stopped forthwith," Auradkar said.

Auradkar said many banks have been setting up or opening ATM kiosks in private buildings or commercial complexes across the city, and had failed to inform police about the location of their ATMs with fool-proof security for the machine and customers.

"Our police force has noticed many ATMs mushrooming even in new residential layouts and city's outskirts without enough security system in place. We brought this to the notice of the top officials of all banks and prevailed on them to enhance security at their ATMs after a series of crimes involving ATMs occurred over a year," Auradkar recalled.

In a related development, police announced Rs.1 lakh reward for information on the assailant who is still at large after assaulting the victim, a woman bank officer, in the ATM.

"We will reward Rs.1 lakh to any person sharing information on the assailant absconding after assaulting bank manager Jyothi Uday in her bank's ATM kiosk in the city centre," Auradkar said earlier in the day.

The informer's identity will be protected to ensure his/her safety.

Unconfirmed reports earlier in the day said the assailant had sold the victim's mobile handset to a cell recharge shop at Hindupur in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh, about 100 km north of Bangalore.

"We learnt from our counterparts in the neighbouring state that the mobile recharge shop owner bought the handset from a person whose identity he did not know. The buyer is being interrogated to ascertain the whereabouts of the attacker," Auradkar said.

One of the eight special teams, set up to investigate the horrifying incident, is also on the lookout for another person who may have remained outside the state-run Corporation Bank ATM while the assailant was inside the kiosk attacking the victim.

"We are trying to find out if the unknown assailant had an accomplice standing outside the kiosk to ensure nobody entered it to draw cash from the ATM. As the machine was out of order for over a week, customers stopped entering it though it was repaired but no guard was present in the early hours (around 7am) of that day," a police official told IANS.

Meanwhile, 44-year-old Jyothi is recovering at a private hospital from the severe injuries she suffered on her head, face and nose when the assailant attacked her with a machete.

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