BENGALURU: A year after Jyothi Uday, a 44-year-old bank manager was brutally attacked in an ATM kiosk in the heart of Bengaluru, the city police, banks, as well as the public, seem to have forgotten all about security risks.
Immediately after the incident, then city police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar had issued a set of guidelines for kiosks, including installing CCTV cameras inside and outside, appointing security guards who would work 24/7 and setting up emergency alarms.
Auradkar had even given banks a deadline of 15 days, which was later extended to 90 days, to implement the same. However, it was forgotten in a few months.
Initially, a few kiosks were closed down due to lack of security. But today, a cursory glance around the city reveals several ATM kiosks without guards, cameras or emergency alarms. “As the memory of the attack faded, both the police and banks developed a lax attitude towards ATM kiosk security,” said Srinivas Babu, president of the United Forum of Bank Unions.
“Initially, some ATMs were forced to shut down by the police. But as soon as police looked the other way, they reopened, and today they function as usual,” Babu said.
The only security check some ATMs have at present is when beat police inspect the kiosks. Incidentally, at some kiosks, security guards sit inside which is still a risk, Babu said.
Recently, a security guard was caught taking pictures of a woman who had gone to an ATM kiosk. On investigation, the Vyalikaval police found that the guard had over 60 photographs of women who visited the ATM.
During the months that followed the attack, it was estimated that there were about 1,400 ATM kiosks in the city.
A few were shut down as banks realised that providing security at all these kiosks would increase operational costs. But many have now reopened.
When Express brought the lack of security to the notice of City Police Commissioner M N Reddi, he said, “If there are guidelines, banks have to follow them. Considering the large number of ATMs in the city, we will take up the issue with them again and make sure that they are implemented.”