Bihar: Now, Rs 42-lakh bank heist in Nalanda district

Maintenance of law and order has been a top priority during successive governments headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar since he first assumed office in November 2005.

patna Updated: Nov 28, 2015 13:42 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times
A crowd outside the bank after the robbery, at Sohsarai in Nalanda district on Friday.(HT photo)

Maintenance of law and order has been a top priority during successive governments headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar since he first assumed office in November 2005.

He reiterated that commitment when he reviewed law and order with DMs and SPs, a day after being sworn in as CM for the fifth time, on November 20.

But during the week since then, law and order in Bihar has been throwing up challenges, through a spate in incidents that threaten to undermine public order that goes with good governance.

The latest such incident occurred Friday morning when four miscreants barged into a Canara bank branch at Sohsarai Chowk and decamped with Rs 42 lakh in cash.

The miscreants also beat up a customer, the branch manager and other employees before locking them up in the strong room.

The branch is located on first floor, barely 100 metres from a police station. The branch has no armed security guard.

The robbery was carried out within a span of 15 minutes and was caught on CCTV cameras installed on the bank premises but looters fled with the hard drive in which the incident was recorded.

Central range DIG Shalin confirmed the incident, saying the police started an investigation.

After a complaint was lodged at the local Sohsarai police station, a dog squad was pressed into service and finger print experts were called in to scan for clues.

Shalin said the police had sealed important exit points to prevent the culprits from escaping. But a manhunt launched to nab the robbers failed to yield any immediate result.

According to an eyewitness, Pintoo Kumar, three or four youths armed with revolvers barged into the premises soon after the bank opened for business, around 10.30 am.

One of the intruders entered the branch manager chamber while another one slapped an employee Ravi. The miscreants then put a gun barrel in the mouth of branch manager in-charge Munendra Kumar Ranjan’s mouth and forced him to open the strong room.

Thereafter, the miscreants looted the cash and valuables. The looters then locked the employees in the strong room, broke the CCTV cameras on the bank premises, took the hard drive and escaped on foot.

Around 10.50, a customer Rishav Kumar reached the bank premises and heard knocks from inside the strong room and released the branch employees from confinement.

On getting the information, Nalanda SP Vivekanand and other official reached the spot to make inquiries about the incident. Some shopkeepers told the police that five persons carrying bags entered the bank premises and returned after 15 minutes.

Forensic field unit personnel lifted samples including fingerprint impressions from the spot. “We have also gathered some inputs after talking to local and are working on other clues,” the SP said.

In another incident, a lawyer, Prem Prakash Sinha, was shot at in Buxar district by armed miscreants when he was on way to the SDO court. He was admitted in a private nursing home in a critical condition.

According to the police, Sinha, a resident of Machharhatta Pul, was intercepted by criminals at Darji Mohalla under Town police station, and bullets were pumped into his body from behind.

When he fell to the ground, miscreants managed to escape from the spot.

On getting information, Buxar SP Upendra Kumar Sinha and DSP Saisav Yadav reached the spot. A case had been lodged on the basis of the statement of Sinha’s wife against four named and two unknown persons. The reason behind the incident was said to be the registering of an FIR by the lawyer against one named criminals, who had teased his daughter.

Earlier, the body a prominent fertilizer and medicine trader, Harishankar Singh was recovered from near a canal, in the outskirt of Dumra village under Jamo police station in Siwan on Wednesday.

He had been abducted on November 15.

On November 25, a doctor was shot at by four gangsters at Ragarganj more under Daraunda police station in Siwan district, reportedly for refusing to cough up extortion money.

In other recent incidents of violence, at Vaishali, Darbhanga and Begusarai, two persons, including a police officer, were killed and several were injured.

In Vaishali and Darbhanga, police had to fire in the air to disperse rampaging mobs, one of which attacked a police station in Darbhanga and torched nine vehicles.

Two other policemen were injured in Chakia police station area when a mob attacked them.

First Published: Nov 28, 2015 13:42 IST