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Asansol: In a daring broad day heist, armed miscreants have looted as much as Rs 38-lakh in cash from a nationalised bank branch at Asansol in West Burdwan.

The robbery has taken place at the Indian Bank branch located at Asansol Sen Raleigh Road early this afternoon.

The bank staff have told police that around 1.45 pm a gang of eight miscreants armed with firearms forayed into the single-storey bank building. They then cornered the security guards and customers by training firearms at them and bolted them in a room.

Some of the bank staff tried to put up a resistance but were thrashed by the miscreants. They then coerced the bank manager to part with the keys to the vault and took out Rs 38-lakh cash that was kept inside. Done with the loot, the gang removed the hard disk of the CCTV recorder and stormed out of the bank.

Traders having shops in the vicinity of the bank said that the miscreants sped away in the motorcycle in which they had come. While getting into the bank, the gang had thrashed a civic volunteer and forced him to get into the bank with them, the eyewitnesses said.

Soon after the gang left, the bank manager called up the Asansol North police station and reported the matter. A large posse of police arrived and swung into an investigation.

Police have also set up checks on all roads and highway leading out from Asansol and are carrying out a blanket search on all passers-by. But till evening, they have failed to nab any of the gang members.

This is not the first time that a bank at Asansol has been looted in broad day. In February, a gang had looted Rs 24-lakh from the Canara Bank branch at Asansol’s Raniganj area.

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