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No check on security of ATMs despite reminders by Gurgaon police

Gurgaon police had written to banks in February 2014 asking them to ensure compliance to security guidelines

gurgaon Updated: Oct 31, 2017 22:40 IST
Leena Dhankhar
There are nearly 1,300 ATMs in Gurgaon.
There are nearly 1,300 ATMs in Gurgaon.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Despite reminders by the Gurgaon police asking banks to deploy security guards and install CCTV cameras at ATMs, the banks did not comply and the police allegedly did not take action against them for the last three years.

The Gurgaon police had written to the banks in February 2014 to ensure compliance. But the police did not compile the data after that and have no record as to how many banks complied with the order. There is also no specific data on how many guards are posted at ATMs across the city and how many CCTV cameras installed at the cash dispensing kiosks are functional.

The matter came to fore once again after thieves tried to rob an ATM by trying to drag the whole machine into their vehicle at Wazirabad, Sector 53, in the wee hours of Sunday. When residents raised an alarm, the thieves gave up and fled the spot, leaving the machine on the road. There was no security guard at the ATM kiosk.

Gurgaon police had asked the banks to deploy armed security guards at the ATM kiosk after 35-year-old security guard, Bhupinder Kumar, a native of Saraiya, Bihar, was stabbed to death on August 29, 2014. Kumar died fighting off a 27-year-old man who had barged into the ATM kiosk and break open the cash vault.

According to the police, the guard did not have a licensed weapon with him which could have saved his life. He was on night duty and luckily the CCTV camera was functional, which led to the assailant’s arrest.

Read I Gurgaon: Thieves make off with ATM near Dwarka Expressway

Even after three years, there have been incidents of thieves attempting to rob ATM machines and the police are yet to identify the culprits.

There are nearly 1,300 ATMs in Gurgaon. After the incident, Deepak Saharan, DCP (East), obtained the data on all banks and ATMs operating in his area and got an inspection conducted.

“Out of 182 machines installed in East area, all of the ATMs had CCTV cameras installed, but 25% of them have no security guards. We have asked the SHOs to meet the bank officials and ensure they adhere to the guidelines,” Saharan said.

“No cases have been registered against the banks (over non-compliance with security guidelines) all these years. We can only request them again and again. We have also requested the banking staff to run proper background checks on security guards posted at ATMs and ensure that the CCTV cameras installed are functional,” Saharan said.

In July 2014 again, several banks were asked to instruct their guards to ensure they are present at the ATM kiosk during duty hours. The banks were also told to take strict action against any guards found violating the guidelines.

During a drive in June 2015, the Gurgaon police had closed seven ATM kiosks in sectors 40, 45, 30 and 31 where guards were not deployed. However, the drive did not cover the whole city. Police said the ATMs won’t open till guards are deployed and CCTVs installed.