Noida: Bank robbers kill 2 guards, fail to break in
Two security guards were killed in what appeared to be an attempt to rob a branch of the state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Sector 1, Noida, in the early hours of Friday, according to the police.
The incident occurred in the guard room of the PNB’s circle office branch at around 2.30am, where the bodies of the two guards were found by the police at around 7.30am. There were signs of a struggle in the room, police said.
The victims were identified as Mukesh Kumar Yadav (25), a resident of Mainpuri who was living with his brother in Noida’s Harola village, and Mudrika Prasad (47), a native of Bihar who was living with his family in Delhi’s Kalyanpuri area. They had been beaten, apparently with sticks, and had multiple head injuries.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras captured two assailants entering the bank a little before 3 am, but the police are yet to locate or identify them. They appeared to have taken the keys to the front door of the bank from the guards after killing them.
“There could be more people but the chances are that the two seen on camera were the only ones. One of them seems to be in his late teens and the other in his early 20s. They were both masked, and one of them was in a guard’s uniform,” said senior superintendent of police Ajay Pal Sharma.
He said the motive behind the murder was not clear, but it appeared to be an attempted robbery. “It seems the accused were small-time thieves because they did not go near the strongroom in the basement of the bank. They just went through some of the documents. It seems from CCTV footage that they were looking for immediate cash,” Sharma said, adding that nothing of value appeared to be missing.
The accused apparently entered the premises from an adjoining plot, which is an abandoned vehicle showroom. Some plastic water tanks line the boundary, which they may have used to scale the wall.
In the CCTV footage, the two suspects were seen entering the bank, but since the guards had keys only to the front door, and not to the vault or the locker room, the accused were not able to access these areas.
“The accused left in an hour with nothing but one of the digital video recorders (DVR). They are most probably amateurs as they didn’t realise there were other DVRs in the bank. The way the wires were pulled suggested they were not professional robbers,” said Sharma, adding that may even have been drunk.
At around 7 am, a gardener employed with the bank knocked on the front gate. When no one answered, he peeped in and saw that the iron gate was unlocked. He alerted the bank manager, Pravendra Kumar, who called the police. The police found the bodies in the guard room.
The bank manager declined to comment. The owner of the security firm the two guards worked for called for a thorough investigation. A case of murder has been registered at the Sector 20 police station.
“Both of them had been with us for a long time and were fully trained. They were equipped only with sticks as they were not handling cash but only guarding the gates,” said KP Singh, owner of Kushal security agency.
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