Zee Media Bureau
Bangalore: The Karnataka police on Wednesday intensified the search for the man who brutally attacked a bank woman officer on her head with a machete at an ATM kiosk in the city centre.
The attack on Jyothi Udaykumar, a 38-year-old manager of the state-run Corporation Bank`s Mission Road branch, has sparked public outcry.
Amid mounting angry reactions over the brazen attack, a rattled Karnataka government sought to crack the whip on erring banks, telling them to shut ATM booths unless they provide security.
Jyothi was repeatedly hit with the machete by the assailant shortly after she entered the ATM kiosk around 7 am on Tuesday. She was left in a pool of blood for nearly three hours as the assailant had downed the shutters before the incident came to light when two school children saw blood stains and informed a policeman who shifted her to hospital.
The victim was recovering from a "long surgery" and she was able to speak, Dr NK Venkataramana, who performed the operation at the BGS Global Hospital, told reporters.
He said her skull was fractured and a small piece of bone had gone into the brain, causing a "penetrating injury" and added that she had been paralysed on her right side.
"We have taken all precautions and are closely monitoring her condition. Hope everything will go well... She is able to speak", the doctor said. There was no danger to her life now, he said.
Police have formed squads to nab the assailant and were in touch with their counterparts in neighbouring states also to crack the case.
In the meantime, the Karnataka government today directed all banks in Bangalore to post security guards at their ATMs within 72 hours.
"We have made posting of security guards compulsory at all ATMs of state-run and private banks across the city to ensure safety of their customers. ATMs without guards will be shut down," Home Minister KJ George told the media.
A quick police survey recently revealed that of the 2,500 ATMs in Bangalore, about 600 were without guards or any security to ensure the safety of their customers.
"We are setting up a committee with Home Secretary SK Pattanayak as chairman to monitor the security measures banks have to implement in their offices, branches and ATMs as safety of their customers is their primary duty," George said.
The minister reviewed the security of banks and ATMs in the city and across the state at a meeting with senior officials including the director general of police Lalrokhuma Pachuau and Bangalore Police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar.
"Following series of attacks on ATMs across the city in the recent past for looting cash, police suggested all banks to enhance the security of their kiosks," George said.
"Though many banks have started taking measures to beef up security, some are yet to initiate action as they have outsourced the security issue to third party. This will not do.
"They have to comply with our latest directive, failing which, their ATMs will be shut," George said.
Terming as unfortunate the attack on Jyothi, George appreciated her courage to initially confront the assailant and refusing to draw the money from the ATM.
George later visited Jyothi at the BGS Hospital where she is recovering from severe injuries.
(With Agency inputs)