Police don't know if ATM attacker is dead or alive: Minister George

Police will call a meeting of bank officials to discuss strengthening the security at ATM centres, Home Minister K J George said on Friday.

After launching a mobile phone app at the State police headquarters here, George said there should be tighter security at ATMs as they contained cash. Sometimes thefts occur at ATMs despite the deployment of security guards and CCTV cameras. Hence, round-the-clock CCTV monitoring would be advisable to prevent crimes at ATM centres, he said.

Referring to the mysterious man who attacked Jyothi Uday, a Corporation Bank staffer, at an ATM in 2013, the minister said that the police weren’t sure if he was dead or alive.

“They are still hunting for him. A reward of Rs 10 lakh has been announced for anyone giving information about him. We don’t know if he’s dead or alive but hope he is alive and we’ll catch him.” George insisted that the police had been given free rein to investigate all kinds of cases and the government wasn’t pressuring them. On the cricket betting scam, the minister vowed to deal with the black sheep in the police, as per law.

Asked about reviewing the system of orderlies — junior policemen who carry out personal chores of their seniors — George said a committee would look into the practice. “In the past, low-rung police personnel would work as orderlies. Now, there is a direct appointment of orderlies. Police personnel who were trained to work as orderlies will be deputed for policing.” George said the police were considering booking the suspects in moral policing under the Goonda Act. As for chain-snatchers, he said the police would keep a watch on those standing as sureties for the suspects to get bail.

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