In a broad daylight dacoity on Friday, six men armed with country-made pistols and knives looted cash of Rs 15 lakh from a bank located along the busy Mapusa-Calangute main road in Verla-Canca. However, alert passers-by managed to apprehend two of the dacoits.
According to police, six dacoits entered the branch of Indian Overseas Bank situated near the Verla-Canca circle at around 4 pm, pulled down the shutters and carried out the loot. At the time of the incident, there were five customers inside the bank and only four bank employees.
After pulling down the shutters, some dacoits approached the cashier, assaulted him and at gun-point managed to take away Rs 15 lakh cash from him. Then they asked for keys to the locker room. But the manager refused to give in to their demands and tried to deter them on the pretext that the room is under CCTV surveillance.
Taking advantage of the commotion, a customer managed to escape from the bank as the shutter was not properly closed and raised alarm. A crowd gathered outside the bank. Deepak Gawas, staying in the adjoining building, entered the bank when dacoits attacked him and snatched his gold chain.
The dacoits along with the booty ran towards the fields and were chased by two youth. A youth Rajsab from Khorlim, who was on his way to Calangute, tried to apprehend one of the dacoits when another dacoit removed a country-made pistol and opened fire.
Another youth Altaf Shaikh from Verla-Canca also gave a chase and finally the duo managed to catch two dacoits while four other dacoits made good their escape. The dacoits were given a sound thrashing by the crowd. Live cartridges were found in pockets of one of the accused which were later handed over to the police.
Rahan Arsekar, ex-principal of a college was on his way home in his car when one bullet hit his vehicle and the vehicle’s windscreen was damaged.
Meanwhile, SP North Chandan Chowdhary told media persons that there were six dacoits while 2 have been arrested, four are absconding and the police have been alerted. She said that all the six dacoits hail from Bihar and have past records of dacoity. This was revealed by one of the dacoit during interrogation while one dacoit who is seriously injured after thrashing by public is in a hospital.
Speaking further, SP North said that the six dacoits had booked two rooms near the Mapusa bus stand. She said that the bank had no armed security nor did the bank have alarm system which is needed in a bank having locker system and making transaction of more than Rs 10 lakh. Further investigation is in progress, she said.
Bank manager Swetabh Bharti, who was at the Mapusa police station to record his statement, narrated the incident to media persons. He said that some dacoits assaulted the cashier Govind Narvekar and took away the cash. He also said that they asked for keys to the locker room but he refused to oblige citing that it is Friday and so there is hardly any cash and it is under CCTV surveillance. He said that they started destroying monitors and started pulling the wires luckily the hard disc was intact.