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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

20 rounded up for locker robbery

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, January 20, 2013
First Published: 20:32 IST(20/1/2013) | Last Updated: 20:34 IST(20/1/2013)

A day after the bank robbery in which 40 lockers of Punjab & Sind Bank  (P&SB) were broken open, the city police have sought details of phone numbers operational in the area during the crime hours and have rounded up 20 people for intensive questioning.

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"We have sent six teams of cops to different districts of the state and 20 people, earlier booked in cases of similar robberies are being interrogated intensively," said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Naresh Dogra. Dogra is heading the investigation team.

Finger prints & foot prints have been collected from inside the bank premises and are being matched with the detained people, the ADCP added.

He added that of the 40 lockers burgled, four were not allotted to anybody. However, the loss figure could not be specified as many of the locker holders were yet to come up with the list of valuables.  

"We are in touch with the Hoshiarpur police too, as in a similar incident on January 15, an ATM was broken open with gas cutters," Dogra said. The police are also investigating the role of bank employees and intensive questioning is on.

Meanwhile, there is a huge question mark on who will compensate the locker holders, if at all? Bank officials say that the bank was not liable, as it had taken an undertaking from account holders who take locker on rent that they the bank was not liable.

Highly-placed bank sources added that the customers could be compensated by he insurance company, if the cover had been taken.

"When the bank has no way of knowing who has kept what in the bank, how can claims of the valuables in the lockers be verified now," a bank official on the condition of anonymity.

Some of the locker holders are non-resident Indians (NRIs) and had kept their travel documents like passports in the lockers.  Narinder Singh, an NRI, claimed that she had kept her American passport along with green card of his two-year-old son in the locker. It would be difficult to travel back to the US without these documents, she added.

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