On the heels of a shocking incident of robbery inside an automated teller machine (ATM) in Bangalore recently, the state police on Tuesday asked the banks to strengthen security arrangements at all ATMs in the state.
Talking to journalists, inspector general of police (law and order) RK Vishwakarma said the issue came up for a thorough discussion at a meeting of the police with officers of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other banks.
Pointing out that the police had already issued elaborate instructions to the district authorities to review the security arrangements, Vishwakarma said it was the responsibility of the banks to provide security guards at each ATM.
Moreover, the banks have also been told to place CCTV cameras at a place from where the entire functioning, including the full picture of people inside the ATM, could be properly recorded.
He said because of financial reasons, the banks were reluctant to deploy guards at all the ATMs. But the police officers attending the meeting insisted on proper security arrangements at all the ATMs.
He said in order to widen the network, the banks had now planned to set up 6000 more ATMs in the state.
Referring to the fake currency menace, Vishwakarma said the police had decided to set up a nodal police station in each district for the registration of FI Rs.
He said the district police chief would notify one such police station where FIR concerning fake currency could be registered.
The IG said fake currency in India was routed through Bangladesh and Nepal borders.
He also said gangs were working to bring in fake currency from these countries and fraudulently deposit them in banks and, thereafter, withdraw original Indian currency from the ATM.
He said exactly copying “optical variable ink” (OVI), the criminals had succeeded in matching it with original Indian notes of the denomination of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000.
Since ATS has collected considerable information about the circulation of fake currency in UP, Rajiv Sabbharwal, the ATS IG, thoroughly briefed bankmen about the problem.
Vishwakarma said fake currency to the tune of Rs. 11 crore was lying with one bank but declined to reveal its name.
Other banks must have faced similar problems but they did not give the records, Vishwakarma said, adding these banks were destroying fake currency and getting claims from insurance companies.
Asking the banks to report the matter to the police, he said they had been assured of no police harassment.
Cyber fraud also came up for a detailed discussion, as the bankmen said the problem was increasing fast.
The police also agreed to provide security to banks’ currency chest in the state.
“Accepting the banks’ demand to provide security at the state’s 465 currency chests, of which eight (one each in Mirzapur and Chandauli and six in Sonbhadra) lie in naxal-infested areas, we have decided to deploy two head constables and eight constables at each chest,” he said.