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Bangalore ATM attack: Victim paralysed on right side, no trace of assailant; govt to shut down ATMs without security

DC Online/PTI | November 21, 2013, 02.11 am IST
A CCTV image of the attacker attacking the woman with a revolver (on his right hand) and machete (left hand) at an ATM in Bengaluru.
A CCTV image of the attacker attacking the woman with a revolver (on his right hand) and machete (left hand) at an ATM in Bengaluru.

Bangalore: The 38-year-old woman bank officer, who was brutally attacked on the head with a machete at an unguarded ATM kiosk, was left paralysed on her right side and there was no trace of the assailant whose gory act caught on CCTV footage sparked a public outrage. 

Amid mounting angry reactions over the brazen attack, a rattled Karnataka government sought to crack the whip on erring banks, telling them to shut ATM booths unless they provide security.

The victim, a manager with the Corporation Bank, was repeatedly hit with the machete by the assailant shortly after she entered the ATM kiosk around 7 am on Tuesday. She was left in a poll of blood for nearly three hours as the assailant had downed the shutters before the incident came to light when two school children saw blood stains and informed a policeman who shifted her to hospital.

The victim was recovering from a 'long surgery' and she was able to speak, Dr N.K. Venkataramana, who performed the operation at the BGS Global Hospital, told reporters. He said her skull was fractured and a small piece of bone had gone into the brain, causing a 'penetrating injury' and added that she had been paralysed on her right side.

"We have taken all precautions and are closely monitoring her condition. Hope everything will go well... she is able to speak", the doctor said. There was no danger to her life now, he said.

Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, who visited the victim, said she was recovering and speaking. Police have formed squads to nab the assailant and were in touch with their counterparts in neighbouring states also to crack the case.

The woman was attacked after she apparently refused to draw money and hand it over to the assailant as demanded by him.

The assailant had followed her into the ATM, located in a busy traffic intersection and closed the rolling shutter and initially threatened the woman with a revolver asking her not to raise an alarm, as CCTV footage of the gruesome act showed.

He had walked out of the kiosk after downing the shutter and taking away her mobile, leaving the bleeding woman in a serious condition.

Apparently jolted by the shocking incident, Karnataka Home Minister K.J. George held a high-level meeting with top officials of his department and police to review the situation and discuss measures to curb such incidents.

George said more than 600 of the total 2,580 ATMs in Bangalore have no security guards.

"We want them to deploy security guards immediately or close down the things until suitable arrangements have been made.....that's why the Police Commissioner (Raghavendra Auradkar) will take appropriate action", he said.

George said a committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) has been formed which would hold discussions with managements of banks and law department for drawing up guidelines vis-a-vis ATM security in the interest of customers.

The Bangalore Police Commissioner said police officials were being sent to different districts and states to track down the assailant, "who cannot be a first timer".

Auradkar said the police had two rounds of meetings with banks on the issue of security at ATM booths earlier and given strict guidelines to them.

The incident has grabbed media attention, with repeated beaming on cctv footage on television channels, sparking debate on security at ATMs.

The victim's husband Uday said, "She is fine. I met her in the morning. She is recovering very fast. This has happened in broad daylight. There should be more patrolling and security for woman."

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Comments

3
MAHESWAR DEKA's picture
by MAHESWAR DEKA (not verified) on
It is shame to note that the girls and women of India are still suffering from all kinds of atrocities. Earlier, it was thought that our females are unsafe on roads, markets or bus stands etc. Now ATM has become an another place where our girls and women are unsafe.Government must deploy a armed guard in every ATM.
Madan Menon Thottasseri,Chennai's picture
by Madan Menon Tho... (not verified) on
Attack of the woman Bank officer at an ATM evidently proves that nobody is safe in this country! As long as we have criminals who can snatch chains or attack people in ATMs, the electronic banking for withdrawal or other tracsactions becomes a curse! Sometimes there will be nobody in the vicinity while we withdraw money from an ATM kiosk, let it be situated even in the main road. Even if security gaurds are posted, in some places he will be roaming around in nearby tea and pan shops. When shutters of the kiosk can be pulled down by assailant, it is easy to finish their task inside ATM kiosks. All banks must immediately appoint security persons to ensure safety of people as well as the money in ATMs. Rolled up shutters must be locked with the upper portion of the entrance so as to prevent the pulling down of the same by any unauthorized persons. In this incident the assailant could pull down the shutter and attack the women. Further he could escape by pulling down the hutter again after coming out of the ATM centre. For hours together the victim went unnoticed behind the closed shutter.
SRI KUMAR TUMULURI's picture
by SRI KUMAR TUMULURI (not verified) on
The recent attack on the woman at Bengaluru ATM was dreadful. The atrocious attack that too during the day time and at the heart of the city shows how criminals have become brazen. The arrangement of ATM’s in a closed room allowing only few persons is a boon to the muggers who are least bothered about the CC Cameras. Further most of ATM’s are facing the door side and the customers have to face the reverse side of the door and as such the customer can’t watch who is intruding from back side. So, if at all the ATM’s must and should be situated in separate room only, it is a must to consider changing the direction where the customer should face the door side and make their transactions. Secondly, for small amount withdrawals, the ATM’s should be arranged in such a position that the front panel of ATM’s should open to the footpaths and the back panel should be in the Air Conditioned rooms. This will not only safeguards the Machines from thefts and damages, but also safeguards customers from brutal attacks as they are open to the public. A frame around the front panel should be arranged so that the operation made by the customer including typing passwords will not be visible to the third person. And for the withdrawals of higher amounts, the ATM’s should be arranged at Bank branches only and the RBI should facilitate with "Any Bank Transactions At Any ATM’s". T SRI KUMAR

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