NEW DELHI: Bihar and West Bengal share the dubious distinctions of reporting the maximum number of looting, robbery, dacoity or thefts at banks for two consecutive years in India In 2017-18, there were 972 such incidents out of which 147 occurred in Bihar, as per the recent Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. Neighbouring West Bengal came second with 105 cases.
Similarly, in 2016-17, Bihar topped the list with 119 incidents out of the total 1,012 incidents. Bengal was second with 105 incidents.
An analysis of data showed an alarming rise in such cases, particularly in Bihar. While other parts of the country registered a rise in such cases over last few years, Bihar has seen a sudden spurt. Sample this: In 2014-15 and 2015-16, the number of cases was 26 and 23 respectively. It sharply rose to 119 and 147 in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Bigger states like Madhya Pradesh and Utter Pradesh have seen a lesser number of such crimes. While MP saw 51 incidents, UP reported 85 cases in 2017-18.
The RBI has advised banks to review and strengthen security arrangement in their branches and ATMs to deal with risk perceptions emerging from such incidents. The suggestions include CCTV coverage of banks and ATMs and adequate training of security staff. In addition, it also forwarded suggestions, received from police authorities, to banks.
National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) president Ashwini Rana acknowledged that crime incidents in and around banks have seen a constant rise and the states should focus on the safety of banks and officials.
“There are instances in which bank officials and guards have become victims. We have demanded state governments to focus on the security and safety of banks. Security guards should be provided with modern arms. Moreover, guards should not be outsourced and they should be permanently posted at banks.”