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Dehradun, November 20
The horrifying attack on a woman in the ATM room of a bank in Bangalore yesterday has once again drawn attention to inappropriate security at the ATMs in Dehradun as well. A number of attempts have been made to loot ATMs in Dehradun in the last couple of years.
Vulnerability of ATMs to burglaries, notwithstanding, many ATM centres in the state capital are without security guards, exposing customers to risk of robbery and attacks.
In years 2012 and 2011, a spate of incidents of ATM looting were reported from across the city and in one of such incident burglars even tried to take away the ATM machine itself. Miscreants had tried to loot a State Bank of India ATM at Jakhan, a Punjab National Bank ATM on the Haridwar Road and an ICICI Bank ATM near Indra Nagar. In all these cases the ATMs were not guarded.
Notably, robbers carrying cutters broke into a Punjab National Bank ATM in 2012 but the police caught them while they were busy trying to cut the machine.
It is to be noted that banks are supposed to employ private security guards at ATMs. The manager of a nationalised bank told The Tribune that, “What can a security guard do without a weapon or proper training when he is confronted by a group of men carrying weapons. Without a weapon even their presence cannot be a deterrent to robbers.”
When asked about the level of training to take on robbers, a security guard sitting ideal in front of a private bank ATM on the Rajpur Road, said, “We get no training from the bank concerned or the agency we work for.”
Even DIG, Garhwal, Amit Sinha accepted that it was a sensitive issue and it was the responsibility of the police to ensure such incidents did not take place in the city.
“Bank managers and the police hold regular meetings on issues related to the security of banks and their ATMs. The number of security guards and CCTV cameras at the ATMs has been increased in the last one year,” Sinha said.
Night patrolling should be increased near the banks and ATMs to keep a vigil on suspicious elements.


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