Punjab govt asks banks to strengthen internal security

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Chandigarh, June 10 (UNI) The Punjab Government has asked all the banks to strengthen their internal security systems to check frequent bank robberies.

The banks must introduce a periodical drill to check whether all the security equipments were functional or required any change.

These suggestion were given by Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh at a meeting called by the state government to take stock of the security arrangements to be observed in the banks and ATMs all over Punjab.

The meeting was called on the directions of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal following a number of bank robberies in the state in the last few months, inclduing the Rs 37 lakh dacoity in Amritsar in the last week of May.

Presiding over a meeting of the senior officers of SBI, SBOP, PNB, OBC, ICICI and RBI here today, Mr Singh expressed concern over the frequent incidents of bank robberies in Punjab and said that most of these incidents had occurred due to security lapses.

He said that security arrangements must be increased especially when cash is being carried out or taken into banks. The cash enroute should be adequately guarded, he said.

The government has already constituted district level security committees with SP Headquarters as the in-charge and senior bank employee as its convenor. These committees have been asked to send their monthly reports regularly at the office of the DGP so that further action could be taken if required.

Speaking on the occasion state DGP N P S Aulakh said that as per the directions of the Chief Minister, the Punjab Police Housing Corporation has imparted six week security training to 250 unemployed youth.

They have been fully trained to handle weapons and on the recommendation of the Punjab Police they could be engaged by the banks for purposes of security, against leave vacancy or otherwise, the DGP stated.

Pointing out a number of incidents of robberies in the banks, Mr Aulakh said that most of these incidents occurred due to the security lapses on the part of the banks. The DGP informed the meeting that he had agreed to the suggestion of the RBI to constitute a high level committee consisting of a RBI Deputy General Manager and a DIG to monitor the security arrangements especially in big cities of Punjab with other officers of the government and the banking sector.

Referring to the recent Amritsar robbery case, Mr Aulakh said that vital leads have been found and on the basis of this the culprits will be nabbed shortly. He however said that basic security precautions need be taken to check such incidents.

Mr Aulakh said that Punjab Police will provide security to the vehicles carrying cash from one bank or place to another. He emphasised for better coordination between the police officers and the bankers in matters of security.

Dr J Sadakkadulla, Regional Director RBI, Mr Lalit Srivastava, General Manager RBI, Mr B C Gupta Principal Secretary Home, Mr Shashi Kant ADGP and Mr Chander Shekhar ADGP ( law and order) were also present in the meeting.

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