A deputy manager with the ICICI Bank’s Virar (East) branch was killed and a cashier grievously injured by a former manager of the bank who tried to flee with gold ornaments worth Rs 3.38 crore from the bank’s locker Thursday night, police said.
The accused, Anil Dubey, 35, had worked at the bank’s branch as a manager for 15 months and knew there would be fewer staffers past 7.30 pm, police said. He also knew that the branch’s morning security guard would leave by 7 pm and the night guard only reach around 9 pm.
On Thursday, he had timed his entry to the bank at 8 pm and had stabbed the two former colleagues, both women, several times before reaching out for vault. A timely alarm raised by one of the staffers, however, nixed his plan. Dubey was chased by local residents and later arrested by the police for murder charges.
“Dubey has been booked for murder and produced before a magistrate court that remanded him to police custody till August 6,” Suresh Varhade, senior inspector of Virar police station said.
Deputy manager Yogita Vartak (35), who was stabbed 10 to 12 times died, and cashier Shradha Devrukkar (32), also attacked with a knife from behind and slashed on her head and hands when she tried to defend herself, suffered a deep stab injury on her neck, police said. They were the only two people present in the bank’s branch, located opposite Virar railway station, around 8 pm when Dubey had attacked.
“Dubey knew that it was the month-end and some bank officials would have stayed behind to do the accounting work. He knew most of the staff would leave by 7.30 pm. He also knew the morning security guard would leave at 7 pm and the night security guard only reach for duty around 9 pm, and so he timed his entry into the bank at 8 pm,” a police officer said.
Dubey, police added, knew the two women and had worked with them before he had left the bank a little over a year ago to join as a manager at Axis Bank’s Naigaon branch.
According to the police, Dubey had huge personal and housing loans to repay. No other motive specific to the murder has come to light so far, the police officials said.
“The sole intention of the accused (Dubey) was to murder the two women first, so they could not raise alarm. He entered into the bank and attacked the women multiple times and moved towards an open locker assuming they were dead,” an officer said.
Despite being grievously injured, Devrukkar managed to ring the alarm bell and run outside and scream for help. “It was Devrukkar’s great courage that nixed Dubey’s plan,” another officer said.
The bank’s locker, police said, had been left open as the accounting work was on. Dubey had managed to collect the gold ornaments in it and tried to run away but alert citizens who heard Devrukkar’s screams chased and nabbed him. The entire incident was recorded on two CCTV cameras inside the bank, police added.
Vartak died on the spot and was declared dead on admission at the hospital. The Phoolpada resident is survived by her husband and 18-month-old son. Devrukkar, meanwhile, was rushed to Sanjivani hospital in Virar (west) and was Friday shifted to another hospital. She continues to be unconscious.
Speaking to media persons, Vartak’s uncle Dinkar said, “Our daughter was very brave. She was dedicated to her work. This incident has shattered her family. The incident could have been avoided had there been a security guard or some peon or male person.” The Indian Express reached out to Devrukkar’s family, but he was not in a position to speak.
While the ICICI Bank did not issue any official statement, a press statement issued by the Axis Bank said, “As a responsible institution, the Axis Bank has zero-tolerance towards unscrupulous elements and is committed to fully cooperate with the relevant authorities in resolving this issue. We have taken strict disciplinary action immediately.” The Axis Bank, however, did not say if Dubey had been dismissed.
According to police, the accused and his 32-year-old wife, a homemaker, and their two sons live in Nalasopara (west). He has over 10 years of banking experience. The police said Dubey had taken hefty home and personal loans and had been unable to pay the EMIs on the loans.
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