Is the assailant, who had brutally attacked Corporation Bank manager Jyothi Uday at an ATM kiosk in Bangalore on November 19, a killer?
Police, hot on his trail, stumbled upon vital clues that point to this possibility.
Police are reported to have arrested a suspect and a team of CCB police from the city is learnt to have gone to Andhra Pradesh to verify if he is the man they are looking for. While sources said the suspect has been taken in for questioning, Bangalore police maintained that the hunt for the suspect was still on.
“We do not have official intimation of any arrests made in this case. We are continuing our search for the accused,” said Bangalore City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar.
The assailant’s footprints were traced to an ATM in Kadiri town. He was seen withdrawing money at a State Bank of India ATM in Kadiri on November 10 — nine days before he attacked Jyothi. The CCTV footage from the ATM showed a person who looked exactly like the assailant, wearing the same clothes and holding the same handbag too.
After analysing the footage of the ATM kiosks in Bangalore and Kadiri, it is learnt that police officials of Bangalore and Anantapur district came to the conclusion that the person caught on camera in both places is the same.
The investigators also suspect he could be behind the suspicious death of a woman, identified as Pramila, in Dharmavaram in Anantapur on November 10.
There are reports that the assailant had snatched the woman’s debit cards before murdering her and withdrew money using it at the ATM in Kadiri. But the police did not confirm this.
Sources said the suspect had withdrawn `8,000 in two transactions in four days at Kadiri.
On November 15, after coming to Bangalore, he had used the card to withdraw `18,000 but, around this time, Pramila’s son had got the card blocked.
He tried to withdraw money in the same ATM again just 15 minutes before attacking Jyothi. Sources said the suspect used the same modus operandi in Dharmavaram too.
He had entered the ATM, downed the shutter and assaulted the woman who was trying to withdraw money.
“He was wearing the same shirt in the previous incident too,” a source said.
However, when contacted, Dharmavaram Circle Police Inspector Anjineyulu said they have not identified the accused in the murder of the woman so far and refused to comment on the reports.
Soon after the Bangalore attack, police traced Jyothi’s mobile phone to a mobile store in Hindupur. The assailant had sold the mobile for Rs 500 to a store owner, Abuzar, the same day.
The Bangalore police have been camping in the district ever since and have even announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to the mugger’s arrest.
Posters of the assailant have also been pasted at several places in the district.