C’garh: Two held for robbery-cum-murder outside ATM in Raigarh

Raigarh: Two Bihar-based men were arrested for allegedly robbing Rs 14.50 lakh cash outside an ATM kiosk after shooting dead a cash van driver and injuring a guard in Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh, a police official said on Saturday.

The accused, identified as Sudhir Kumar (23) and Pintu Verma alias Virat Singh (18), were apprehended on Friday night from Kerajhar village in the district within 10 hours of the incident, Raigarh Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh said.

“The robbery-cum-murder took place on Friday at around 2 pm when the van had come to replenish cash in the ATM of State Bank of India at Azad chowk in Kirodimal Nagar town,” he said.

When the process to deposit the cash into the ATM machine was on, the two motorcycle-borne armed robbers reached the spot and opened fire at driver Arvind Patel and gunman Vinod Patel, he said.

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Subsequently, they decamped with a bag containing cash of Rs 13 lakh and cash of Rs 1.50 lakh kept in the cash tray of the ATM machine, he said.

While Arvind Patel died on the spot, Vinod Patel who sustained bullet injuries in the incident, was admitted to a local hospital, he added.

Soon after the incident, police sealed the entry and exit points of the district and set up 50 check-points to search each and every vehicle.

At least eight police teams were involved in the hunt for the accused, Singh said.

After examining the CCTV footage of several locations, it was confirmed that the accused did not leave the district.

Meanwhile, the intelligence branch received inputs about the presence of two suspects in Kerajhar village, following which a team of 50 armed police personnel conducted a raid, he said.

“The two accused, natives of Bihar, were nabbed from a rented house. One of the accused pointed a gun at the police personnel, but was overpowered,” he said.

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During the interrogation, the duo revealed that they had carried out a reccee of the entire district for 15 days and kept an eye on the movement of the cash van for four days before executing their plan, he said.

The looted amount of Rs 14.50 lakh, two pistols, two country-made pistols, three magazines with 26 live rounds, two live cartridges and two knives were recovered from them, he said.

In the past, Sudhir was also allegedly involved in a failed robbery bid at a branch of Union Bank of India on Raigarh-Dhimrapur road, he said.

A case has been registered in this connection, the SP said adding that further investigation into the matter is underway.

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