Deadline approaches, but no sign of guards at ATMs

Deadline approaches, but no sign of guards at ATMs

Though it has been more than a month since the police instructed banks to deploy a security guard at each of their ATM kiosks, many of them in the City are still without guards.

Following the attack on banker Jyoti Uday at the Corporation Bank ATM kiosk near Town Hall in November 2013, the City police had passed an order that banks must mandatorily appoint 24/7 security guards at all ATM centres. The police had even shut down many kiosks which did not have a guard.

However, during a reality check conducted by a Deccan Herald team on Friday evening, it emerged that many ATM kiosks were functioning without a security guard. The team waited for about 15 minutes near each of the unguarded ATMs, thinking that the guards might have taken a small break. But, nobody turned up.

One such kiosk was of Lakshmi Vilas Bank on OTC Road in Cottonpet, where there was no security guard. Several ATM counters on the busy Magadi Road did not have security guards. People were found drawing money from an Axis Bank ATM, but there was no guard in sight. It was the same case with a State Bank ATM kiosk near APMC yard in Yeshwantpur.

On Magadi Road, it was found that there were two ATMs located next to each other, one belonging to ICICI bank and the other to State Bank. But only the ATM of State Bank had a security guard. He said, “It is a dilemma for me to sit quiet if something goes wrong in the next ATM. The ATM of ICICI Bank has been left unguarded for a long time. We have been telling the bank officials to deploy someone, but there is no response.”

In areas like Horamavu, Banaswadi, K R Puram and Bellandur too, many ATMs did not have security staff.

A senior police official said, “The ATMs which have not followed the rules on deploying guards are to be closed. If they are still found violating the order, we will take stringent action against the banks.” In regard to the police order that banks should instal burglar alarms and two CCTV cameras, one inside and other outside each ATM kiosk, M P Jagadeesh Murthy from the State Level Bankers’ Committee said that banks were in the process of doing it before the deadline set by the police.

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