Bank officials identify slain TN robbers

Bank officials identify slain TN robbers

The blood splattered floor of the small flat in a narrow lane of Velacherry in South Chennai, where five bank robbery suspects were killed on Thursday, is now one more deep stain of a subaltern urban sociology unfolding in Tamil Nadu.

A day after the five heist suspects — four from Bihar and Jaharkhand and one from West Bengal — were killed in a horrific shootout, the scene on Friday shifted to the ‘Amarar Arai (mortuary)’ of the Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital here, where a magisterial inquest opened new doors of perception.

As the Metropolitan Magistrate Geetha Rani conducted an inquest on all the five bodies of the gang’s kingpin Vinod Kumar and four others, her task was unenviable as she patiently recorded the birth marks on them and the bullet wounds they suffered.

However, Rani’s task was on Friday lightened as the managers of both the PSU bank
branches  – Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) which the youths robbed in daylight — came to the mortuary and identified all the five bodies.

“The Bank of Baroda (BoB) branch Manager in particular swears he remembers four of the accused so vividly that he can’t forget their faces for the rest of his life,” police sources told Deccan Herald. The manager had watched the raiders including Vinod Kumar from his cubicle.

Though more corroboration will be required, the initial identification is vital evidence now. The magistrate also completed her report by the evening after which the post-mortem of the five bodies will begin on Saturday, police said.

“Most of the bullet injuries were on their chest and thigh, with a few on their temple,” sources said.

While telegrams had been sent to the addresses police picked up from the identity cards of the gang members in the Velacherry house, sources said that some of the addresses in Bihar had to be verified further.

Separate teams were working on it, as much on finding where the suspects had stashed away Rs 19 lakhs they had robbed from BoB in January. Police on Thursday recovered about Rs 14 lakhs which is said to be the cash from IOB.

“We put out the addresses of the gang members as it was found in the ID cards recovered from the premises,” said senior police officer K Shanmugha Rajeshwaran.