Unidentified criminals shot dead the gunman escorting a cash van and escaped with a box containing Rs 52.74 lakh of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), a couple of kilometres away from Town police station of Samastipur district, on Thursday noon. They also fired in the air to scare away people while fleeing.
This is the second incident of major cash loot in Samastipur within eight months.
On January 4, unidentified criminals had looted around Rs 50 lakh from aUCO Bankbranch, in town’s Gola Road area, soon after thebankopened.
Investigators suspect that the criminals involved in Thursday’s loot might have been from some other district or state, as they did not try to hide their face and drove the motorcycle brandishing firearms.
Samastipur superintendent of police (SP) Deepak Ranjan said four motorcycle-borne criminals looted Rs 52.74 lakh of LIC when the cash was being loaded in a cash van, belonging to private company SIS, on Tazpur Road at around 2pm. The cash was to be transported to Axis Bank. However, when the guard of the van, Dinbandhu Jha of Vidyapati Nagar in Samastipur, resisted the loot bid, the criminals opened fire killing him on the spot. All the criminals managed to escape from the spot with the cash, he added.
Police said they were scanning the CCTV footage and also footage obtained from various points, from where the assailants passed.
“Body of the guard has been sent for post-mortem examination,” police said.
The SP added a massive manhunt operation was launched to nab the criminals and recover the looted cash.
A senior police officials said separate teams of Bihar STF and CID assisted by Samastipur police would probe the case. Preliminary investigation into the case revealed that the cash handling private company had not taken adequate security measures while transporting the cash.