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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 21 August: BETRAYING the lack of alertness among security personnel, burglars broke-in into a nationalised bank branch located inside the ever busy Howrah railway station.

The scale of the daring break-in and the corresponding laxity of the security personnel can be assessed from the fact that both the bank branch and the Government Railway police station are located on the same platform no 2 within a distance of barely 50 metres.

The break-in took place in the State Bank of India branch any time after 4.30 pm on 19 August (Saturday) and before 6 am of today (Monday). The branch was closed on Sunday.

Bank officials discovered the break-in when they opened the branch at 9.30 am today. They found out that the burglars had entered the branch by cutting the grille of a window directly visible from the GRP station.

Before starting the operation, the burglars disconnected the wires of the CCTV cameras and the sound alarm. Once inside, they made a cut in the concrete wall of the bank’s vault room. Bank officials said that the gang, however, could not break open the vault.

A CID team has started probing the break-in and forensic experts are collecting finger-prints from the vault. Initial findings suggest that two-three burglars had intruded into the bank and they conducted the operation for at least 30 minutes.

Security of the Howrah station premises rests both on the GRP and the Railway Protection Force. The latter has multiple surveillance booths in the station complex: both these booths and the GRP station are supposed to function round the clock.