Cracking the whip, police shut down about 1,050 ATMs across Bangalore since late Sunday for not posting round-the-clock security guards and installing CCTV camera outside and burglar alarms in their kiosks, an officer said Monday.
"After the three-day deadline to comply with the security directive ended 4 pm on Sunday, police stations across the city were ordered to shut down all unguarded ATMs in their jurisdiction, a city police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told IANS on Monday.
A mandatory order was issued Nov 21 two days after a woman was brutally attacked by an unknown assailant in an Any Time Money (ATM) kiosk in the city centre Nov 19 and escaped with her cash (Rs.2,500) and her mobile handset.
"Banks will be allowed to re-open the shut ATMs after complying with the mandatory order, as safety and security of customers in such kiosks is primarily their responsibility," Auradkar reiterated.
In a recent survey done after a spate of ATM-related crimes were reported, police found of the 2,580 such kiosks across the city, about 600 were without security guards and many of them did not have CCTV camera outside and none burglar alarm.
"We told all state-run and private banks in three meetings we had with them in the recent past to enhance security in all ATM kiosks located either in branches or separately across the city to prevent attacks on them by miscreants," Auradkar recalled.
The bloody attack on state-run Corporation Bank branch manager Jyothi Uday, 44, by the suspect, who is still at-large, shocked this tech hub of 10-million denizens, with growing clamour for stringent security in and around ATM kiosks.
Latest investigations, however, revealed that a youth resembling the suspect was seen in the footage of a CCTV camera in an ATM kiosk Nov 12 at Kadiri in Anantapur district of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, around 175km from here.
In the footage, shared by the Andhra police with the state police, the suspect is seen in an SBI ATM kiosk standing behind two persons to draw cash using a stolen debit card, in the same dress in which he attacked Jyothi a week later (Nov 19).
The suspect in both footages is seen wearing a blue striped shirt and cream pant with an identical shoulder bag that he was caught attacking Jyothi with a machete.
The State Bank of India (SBI) ATM kiosk is located at a crowded bus stand at Kadiri.
When the Andhra police found the suspect to be same as the person caught attacking Jyothi, they scanned CCTV footage of all ATMs in the district and traced him drawing money even Nov 10-11 from an ATM at Dharmavaram, 185km from Bangalore.