Security guards must at ATMs in Bangalore: Minister

    By IANS,

    Bangalore : The Karnataka government Wednesday directed all banks in Bangalore to post security guards at their ATMs within 72 hours, a day after a bank woman officer was brutally attacked by a man at an ATM kiosk in the city centre.

    “We have made posting of security guards compulsory at all ATMs of state-run and private banks across the city to ensure safety of their customers. ATMs without guards will be shut down,” Home Minister K.J. George told the media.

    A quick police survey recently revealed that of the 2,500 ATMs in Bangalore, about 600 were without guards or any security to ensure the safety of their customers.

    “We are setting up a committee with Home Secretary S.K. Pattanayak as chairman to monitor the security measures banks have to implement in their offices, branches and ATMs as safety of their customers is their primary duty,” George said.

    The minister reviewed the security of banks and ATMs in the city and across the state at a meeting with senior officials including the director general of police Lalrokhuma Pachuau and Bangalore Police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar.

    “Following series of attacks on ATMs across the city in the recent past for looting cash, police suggested all banks to enhance the security of their kiosks,” George said.

    “Though many banks have started taking measures to beef up security, some are yet to initiate action as they have outsourced the security issue to third party. This will not do.

    “They have to comply with our latest directive, failing which, their ATMs will be shut,” George said.

    Terming as unfortunate the attack on Jyothi Udaykumar, a 44-year-old manager of the state-run Corporation Bank’s Mission Road branch, George appreciated her courage to initially confront the assailant and refusing to draw the money from the ATM.

    “Our heart goes out to the victim, who has shown exemplary courage in facing a horrifying situation and surviving a murderous attack all alone in the ATM kiosk. She became a victim of a serious security lapse on the part of her bank,” George said.

    George later visited Jyothi at the BGS Hospital where she is recovering from severe injuries she suffered on head, face and nose, inflicted with a machete by the assailant, who is on the run.