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A woman who was repeatedly attacked with a machete at an unguarded ATM vestibule in Bangalore sustained grievous head injury and suffered partial paralysis, doctors said on Wednesday. She will take six months to recover, they added.
"The victim (Jyothi) is recovering from severe injuries on the head and face, and has suffered heavy loss of blood," BGS Hospital chief neurosurgeon NK Venkataramana said.
The 44-year-old manager of the state-run Corporation Bank's branch on Mission Road was in an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) vestibule in the heart of the city when attacked by a masked assailant, caught on video footage with a 10-inch machete and a country pistol.
No security guard was present at the kiosk when the horrifying incident took place, which sent shock waves across the city after the police released the CCTV footage to news channels late on Tuesday for information or tip-off about the assailant from the public.
Jolted by the brutal attack, the Karnataka government bluntly told banks to close down such vestibules unless they provide security.
As the shocking episode continued to grab media attention with the CCTV footage of the gory act being beamed, home minister KJ George held a high-level meeting to discuss measures to curb such incidents. George said more than 600 of the total 2,580 ATMs in the city have no security guards.
"We want them to deploy security guards immediately or close down the things until suitable arrangements have been made... the police commissioner will take appropriate action," he said.
The victim was shifted to BGS Hospital late on Tuesday from the state-run Nimhans Hospital for an emergency surgery to remove a bone piece from her brain, as her skull was fractured in the deadly assault.
"Jyothi's body is paralysed on the right side because of the injury to her brain, and she has partially lost sensory perception after the blood clot in the head. Full recovery will take four to six months, as the clot has to melt from the affected area," Venkataramana said.
The victim was found unconscious in the blood-stained kiosk nearly three hours after the assailant escaped with her cash (Rs 2,500) and a mobile handset. The attacker is still at large.
"As she regained her consciousness and was able to talk slowly in a low voice, we did a plastic surgery to restructure her nose bridge, which suffered damage in the attack," the senior doctor said.
"It's a miracle how she survived the attack and remained alive despite loss of blood for more than three hours before she was first rushed by a constable in a three-wheeler autorickshaw to the state-run Victoria Hospital as it was closer to the site of the incident," the doctor said.
Police registered a case under section 397 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with attempting to cause death or grievous injury while committing robbery or dacoity.
The footage obtained from the bank showed the unmasked assailant entering the kiosk when Jyothi was in front of the ATM to draw cash, and threatening her after downing the shutter from inside.
"As seen in the footage, the assailant took out a country pistol and a machete from a shoulder bag and asked Jyothi to draw cash from the ATM. When she tried to escape, he pushed her into a corner and hit her on the head and face with a machete. After checking her bag, he left the kiosk, again pulling down its shutter from outside," deputy commissioner of police (DCP) DC Rajappa informed.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
VIDEO: Attack on women inside ATM Kiosk in Bangalore