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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 17 February: STATE Bank of India (SBI) Baguiati branch cashier has gone missing with Rs 25 lakhs from the bank on Tuesday afternoon. His mobile phone is also switched off and his family members have claimed to be unaware of his whereabouts.

According to police sources, Samantha Sarkar, a resident of Madhyamgram area under North 24 Parganas has been working as cashier with the Baguiati branch of the nationalised bank.

The bank located near Bus stop no.44, has a large number of customers and everyday transactions of lakhs of rupees takes place.

Like every day, on Tuesday too Sumantha reported for his duty in the morning. His colleagues said that they found nothing unusual in his behaviour.

Since the branch caters to a large number of customers, is was buzzing with activities and Sumantha was maintaining the cash.

Around 12 noon, he allegedly approached the branch manager and sought permission to leave for some time, saying his brother has met a major accident and he needs to go.

As the manager found nothing suspicious in his claim, he allowed Sumantha leave. While going out, Sumantha told the manager that he will return by afternoon before the bank closes and locked the cash box himself.

By late afternoon when Sumantha did not returned to the branch, the manager and other staffs called him up on mobile. But it was switched off.

After that they called up his home, where his family members claimed that Sumantha left their Madhyamgram home early in the morning saying he has to attend a training programme. They also said that they have not heard from him nor he has returned home.

Suspecting something foul, SBI branch manager called up Baguiati police station and registered a case on Tuesday night.

A police team came to the branch and broke open the cash box in the night itself. In the presence of police, other staffs of the branch counted the money deposited and found that Rs 27 lakhs were deposited in the branch till 12 noon on Tuesday. But only Rs 2 lakhs was found whereas, Rs 25 lakhs was missing.

Police team obtained the CCTV footage from the branch where Sumantha was seen putting in bundles of cash into his red bag.

In this regard, colleagues of the missing cashier told the police team that he  used to carry a red bag containing his lunch box daily to the branch.

The CCTV footage also showed Sumantha walking out of the branch with red bag in his hand. He had left his lunch box near his table.

Police are studying the CCTV footage obtained from the branch and are also conducting raids to nab the cashier and recover the money.