Chennai bank robbery: 5 killed; Was it Encounter or Murder?

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Chennai, Feb 24: Five bank robbery suspects were killed in a police encounter in Velachery, Chennai in the wee hours of Thursday, Feb 23. Police claimed that it was an encounter, however, many questions have been left unanswered which have been haunting the people in the state.

Within hours of the incident, people started asking - was it an encounter or murder. However, Chennai (city) police commissioner JK Tripathy has been quoted as saying, "Our team had gone to the house to verify the information. But when the people inside started shooting at our team, and continued to do so even after warning that it might hurt innocent neighbours who had come out due to commotion, we had to retaliate."

"We had to break open the door and go inside even as the firing from inside continued. Two police officials suffered gunshot injuries and were admitted to hospital," added the official.

Here it can be recalled that On Feb 20, Rs 14 lakh was looted by four armed men from a branch of Indian Overseas Bank at Keelkattalai. In an another incident, the Bank of Baroda branch near Perungudi was stripped off of Rs 19 lakh by four armed men on Jan 23.

Police claimed that the two robberies were being conducted by the same group and the slain suspects have been identified as Vinod Kumar, Chandrika Ray, Harish Kumar, Vinay Prasad (from Bihar) and Abhay Kumar (West Bengal).

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