'Suicide bomber' triggers panic in bank

 A robber entered an HDFC bank on CMH Road in Indiranagar on the pretext of opening an account on Friday, and then pulled a fast one by claiming to be a suicide bomber.

Granjal Chatterjee, 34, a native of Arunachal Pradesh, was employed as a business manager at a prestigious IT company in the City.

He entered the bank around 3 pm with a bandage around his face. Although there were some 30 to 35 people inside, he approached the nearest cashier on duty and demanded money.

He then approached the branch manager and asked for access to the bank safe room which contained Rs 13 lakh.

When several bank employees pointed to a box strapped to his waist and claimed to be carrying a bomb. After he had succeeded in forcing the manager to open the safe room, a bank staffer called the police.

The police, who were initially wary of approaching the ‘bomber’, deployed a bomb disposal squad. Fearing that Chatterjee would trigger the ‘device,’ police officers rushed towards him and overpowered him down.

“We had dispatched a bomb disposal squad along with local police to defuse the bomb,” said DCP (East) T G Krishna Bhatt. “But when the squad inspected the box, it was found to have no explosives.”

The HDFC branch employees later said that a security guard who was on duty had attempted to fire at Chatterjee, but was dissuaded from doing so.

“He had the gun in his hand, ready to fire, but we persuaded him not to shoot as there were many customers and other staff inside,” an employee said.

Indiranagar police said that Chatterjee, a resident of Malleshpalya, showed signs of depression.

He had told police that he was in a deep debt running into lakhs of rupees and sought a quick solution to his problems.

“As the demands for repayment of debts grew, he became desperate and tried a trick out of the book, only to find himself behind bars,” said a bank employee.

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