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Noida bank murders: 12-yr-old aided in robbery attempt, provided weapons, say police

Police said the main accused, Dinesh, is a flower vendor who planned to rob the Sector 1 branch of Punjab National Bank after losing money in gambling. He was aided by a minor and two other accomplices.

noida Updated: Sep 27, 2018 13:00 IST
Tanmayee Tyagi
Tanmayee Tyagi
Hindustan Times, Noida
noida bank murders,noida PNB murders,PNB guards murdered in Noida
A view of the Sector 1 branch of Punjab National Bank where two security guards were murdered on September 21, 2018 in an attempted robbery bid. Police have arrested the main accused, two of his accomplices and a minor. (Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo )

Having lost Rs 2 lakh in gambling, a 24-year-old flower vendor allegedly decided to rob a bank to make good on the loss. He attempted a robbery at Sector 1 branch of Punjab National Bank in Noida in the hope of finding loose cash inside the bank, police said.

In the process, Dinesh, aided by a 12-year-old boy and two other accomplices, murdered two guards on duty before entering the bank on the night of September 21. They had to leave empty-handed as they couldn’t find cash even after searching the premises for about an hour and failed to break into the strong room.

The accused were arrested on Tuesday night after an encounter.

The Sector 1 branch of Punjab National Bank in Noida was carefully chosen as Dinesh used to provide flowers to the guards and knew them well, police said.

“On the night of September 21, Dinesh had provided flowers to the victims. He admitted that he had recently lost Rs 2 lakh in gambling and had come up with the robbery plan to recover the money,” senior superintendent of police Ajay Pal Sharma said.

Dinesh and his accomplice Askil (22) were injured in a police encounter on Tuesday night. Both sustained injuries on their legs and are admitted to the district hospital. Police also arrested Aakash (21) and detained the 12-year-old boy.

According to police, the minor had provided them with sticks and rods used in the murder along with the tools used to break the bank’s fencing.

Police said five persons were involved in the failed heist and the fifth person is on the run.

“Aakil and Aakash had gone inside the bank by climbing over the wall of the bank. They used a decaying tree as the ladder. Three others stayed outside,” the SSP said.

In the CCTV footage, one of the accused was seen wearing a guard’s uniform. “The two guards were asleep. The accused hit one of them on the head. When the second guard woke up, they hit him with a spade. They tied up the guards and hit them again. They didn’t realise that they had killed the guards. Aakash had worn a guard’s shirt to avoid detection. They also threw another shirt over a street lamp to ensure there wasn’t enough light for a clear footage,” the SSP said.

He said the accused failed to break into the strong room in the basement of the bank. “They left with the digital video recorder which has not been recovered yet,” Sharma said.

Police said the accused had not used guns in the robbery bid to avoid alerting anyone nearby. Two countrymade pistols and two knives were recovered from the accused after the encounter.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 12:59 IST