Two from Bandipora arrested for killing ATM security guard: SSP

SSP Jammu Shridhar Patil interacting with media persons (left) and arrested accused (right). — Excelsior/Rakesh
SSP Jammu Shridhar Patil interacting with media persons (left) and arrested accused (right). — Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 22: Two men from Bandipora district of North Kashmir were arrested for allegedly killing a security guard of an ATM here and attempting to steal the cash in the machine.
The incident that occurred on Thursday night has triggered protests in the city.
“We came to know about the killing of a security guard at J&K Bank’s ATM in Nanak Nagar on Thursday night. A police team rushed to the spot and a probe was launched”, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Jammu Shridhar Patil told reporters here.
The deceased was identified as Raju Sharma, son of Golu Ram Sharma of New Plot Prem Nagar Jammu area of Jammu, he said, adding that the deceased was murdered with sharp edged weapon by some unknown persons.
A case under FIR Number 16/2021 under Sections 302 IPC and 4/25 Arms Act was registered at Police Station Gandhi Nagar and the police cracked the case within hours by arresting two accused, the SSP said.
He said the accused–Mohammad Kaif Lone, son of Sartaz Ahmed Lone and Waqas Bashir Lone, son of Bashir Ahmed Lone, both residents of Ashtengoo Aloosa, district Bandipore were living in a rented accommodation at Nanak Nagar.
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“Both of them have been arrested”, Patil said, adding that duo had planned to steal the cash in the ATM.
“On being resisted by the guard, they attacked him inside the restroom by initially smothering his face with a blanket”, the SSP said.
Police are also probing whether it was a bid to steal money for financing terrorism in the valley, SSP added.
Raju Sharma was the lone breadwinner of the family and was the only son of his parents. He had seven sisters, his relatives said. He is survived by his parents, wife and two children.
A large number of people, including the family members and neighbours of the deceased, staged a protest here today morning, demanding that the accused be hanged.
The protesters blocked the New Plot road and demanded a fair and speedy investigation into the matter so that justice is delivered to the family.
“Raju was the lone breadwinner of his family. He was working round the clock to feed his family. The accused should be hanged”, a relative of the deceased said.
The protesters said that the deceased had sacrificed his life while performing his legitimate duty and urged the Government to honour his bravery and provide financial aid to his family. They demanded a job in the bank to one of his family members.
President Jammu West Assembly Movement, Sunil Dimple also demanded a job in the Jammu and Kashmir Bank to one of the family member of the deceased.
Officers of the administration led by ADC Ghansham Singh, SP City PD Nitya, DGM, J&K Bank Sunit Kumar and SDPO West Amit Sharma rushed to the spot to pacify the protesters.
“Rs 20 lakh has been announced as compensation by J&K Bank and Rs 1 lakh by the security agency that had employed the deceased”, a senior officer from the administration said, adding that some compensation has also been given by the District Red Cross Society.
Later, the protestors dispersed and vehicular movement was restored on the road, the police officer added.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Bank Chairman and Managing Director R K Chhibber offered his condolences to the family of ATM guard Raju Sharma. He also announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh in favour of the bereaved family. The money will be contributed by the employees of J&K Bank.
J&K Bank CMD urged upon the security agency that employed the guard, to expedite the processing of terminal benefits due to his legal heirs and also requested them to explore the possibility of providing employment to the next of the kin of the deceased.