A daring daylight bank robbery involving a single individual at a Corporation Bank branch in Chikka Banawara cross, Soladevanahalli police station limits, claimed the life of a bank customer on Monday evening. But the robber managed to flee with more than `15,23,927 in cash.
The deceased has been identified as Muralidhar, 45, manager of a nearby petrol pump owned by his friend.
Police commissioner BG Jyothi Prakash Mirji, who said it was a first such incident in the city where a single robber had opened fire and killed an individual while robbing a bank, has formed five teams under the leadership of deputy commissioner of police (North) SN Sidramappa to nab the accused person.
The dramatic incident unfolded between 3.45 pm and 4 pm in the Chikka Banawara branch of Corporation Bank, which is situated on the first floor of a building located at Chikka Banawara cross.
According to details available at the moment, the robber seems to be around 25 years of age. Police said he dressed like a college student: he had a bag, wore jeans, a checked shirt and a cap.
After entering the bank around 3.45pm, the accused covers his face with a scarf and pulls out his pistol to threaten the staff. First, he asks all customers to drop their cellphones nearby, then he asks all of them to gather in a room so that he could lock them. Once the customers had gathered near a room, he rushes to the cash counter and asks the cashier to fill the bag with money. The cashier drops more than Rs15,23,927 in cash into the bag. At this moment, Muralidhar, a customer who came to deposit money, tries to catch the accused but is in turn fired upon. Then the accused threatens the bank manager and flees the scene.
The news about the robbery managed to reach police after a member of the bank staff contacted a person and requested him to inform police that a robber with a pistol had entered the bank. Soladevanahalli police, who received the news around 4 pm, rushed to the scene.
According to police, the bank customer, Muralidhar, was shot at when he tried to stop the robber while fleeing with the cash. The bullet hit Muralidhar's right upper arm. Though he was rushed to nearby NR Hospital, Muralidhar died in the hospital while being treated.
Interestingly, no one seems to have any clue on the robber’s mode of transport. “We are not sure whether he received any help or whether he came on a bike or any other vehicle,” an investigation officer said.
Joint commissioner Pronab Mohanty, deputy commissioner of police (north) SN Sidramappa rushed to the scene on being informed of the crime. The dog squad was also used to collect evidence. Police said the entire incident had been recorded in the CCTV installed in the bank and they were verifying the footage.
A case of robbery, murder and a case under the provision of Arms Act has been registered against the accused. The body of the deceased has been shifted to the MS Ramaiah Medical College Hospital for a post-mortem examination.