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Sharmili Mallick

Amid Opposition furore over the deteriorating law and order situation in the State, miscreants attempted to loot as many as four ATMs in different places of the pilgrim city Puri in the last two days in an open challenge to the Police administration.

The series loot bid incidents came to the fore after some bank officials reported the incident with the police on Tuesday.

As per sources, the SBI ATM near Police Line and another cash dispensing kiosk near Singhadwar Police Station were among the four ATMs targeted by the anti-socials.

The miscreants have reportedly decamped with the battery of one of the kiosks while some other ATMs were found vandalised due to the break-in. However, if reports are to be believed, miscreants have failed to decamp with any cash from any of the ATMs.

“People in the city are looted and extorted in full public glare and that too in broad daylight. It is unfortunate that an ATM, which is just 20 metres away from Singhadwar Police Station, a high-security zone and where 24X7 patrolling is conducted by the police, was vandalised for the robbery,” said a noted intellectual and servitor at Lord Jagannath Temple, Rajat Pratihari.

Kalucharan Sahu, an official of Indian Bank in Puri confirmed, “Though the looters have damaged currency dispensing machines, they were unable to rob any cash from them.”

Meanwhile, the police have started an investigation into the case after examining CCTV cameras installed near the ATMs.

“A battery of one of the ATMs has been stolen but the miscreants failed to steal cash from the kiosks. We have initiated an investigation into the incident and the burglars will be nabbed soon,” informed Additional SP of Puri, Mahiri Panda.

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