20 days on, the police still to crack Rs 23.50 lakh ATM heist

Updated on Mar 29, 2015 11:46 PM IST

Even 20 days after robbers decamped with a State Bank ATM having around rs 23.50 lakh in Nabha, Patiala police has failed to make any headway in the case.

By, Patiala

Even 20 days after robbers decamped with a State Bank ATM having around rs 23.50 lakh in Nabha, Patiala police has failed to make any headway in the case.

This is the second major bank robbery in Nabha that the police have failed to crack in the past 11 months. A year ago, robbers had looted Rs 37 lakh from the same ATM after killing the security guard.

In the recent case, five unidentified armed assailants barged into the State Bank ATM near Alloharan Gate n March 9. The accused came in an SUV and towed the ATM machine with an iron chain hooked to their car dismantling the ATM from the booth. The accused also took away the CCTV cameras.

As per the available information, the police recovered a broken and empty ATM near Jhall village, situated 20 km from Nabha, in Sangrur district.

Presently, the police force of three districts, Patiala, Sangrur and Barnala are investigating the matter, but neither have generated any concrete evidence nor managed to recover the car involved in the crime.

The police laid checkposts at entry and exit points across the district after the incident, but the vigilance lasted for only two days as all the checkposts were lifted after March 11.

Moreover, the police didn't get much help from the CCTV footage generated from bank's backup system. The footage recorded only the movement of the car at the time when the robbers entered the ATM booth.

The police also failed to get any sketches of the accused as the 70-year-old watchman Ajit Singh, the lone eyewitness to the crime, had seen only the backs of the accused standing near the car.

Patiala's senior superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh Chauhan could not be contacted after repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, Nabha's deputy superintendent of police Sewa Singh Malhi said the police have been making best efforts to crack the case, since the senior officials of several districts are investigating the matter.

"Though we worked on some theories, those didn't work. The matter is being thoroughly investigated and we have got some fresh clues," Malhi said.

Past incidents

January 21, 2015:
Three unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants attack gas agency workers and make an unsuccessful bid to snatch their cash bag. The accused, who also fired at two gas agency workers, are yet to be traced.

February 1, 2014: Three motorcycle-borne youth kill a guard and injured a cashier before looting `37 lakh from a private secure-transfer van in Nabha.


    Navrajdeep Singh is a senior staff correspondent. He covers agriculture, crime, local bodies, health and education in the Patiala district of Punjab.

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