June 26, 2024, 3:48 am

Staff Correspondent

2024-04-04 22:37:23 BdST

Security boosted at 24 Sonali Bank branches in Rangamati, Khagrachari

Security measures have been intensified at 24 Sonali Bank branches in Rangamati and Khagrachari following a series of bank robberies in Bandarban over the past two days.

Mohammad Saifur Rahman, principal officer of Sonali Bank in Rangamati, and Mir Abu Tauhid, superintendent of police in Rangamati, confirmed the information on Thursday.

Rangamati district, with five upazilas bordering Bandarban, is deemed particularly vulnerable by bank officer Saifur Rahman.

He highlighted branches in Rajasthali, Juraichhari, Belaichhari, Baghaichhari, Barkal and Panchari upazilas of Khagrachari bordering Bandarban as high-risk areas.

Saifur said: "Each bank branch has requested security assistance from the nearest police station, and the police are responding promptly. Additionally, the army is also engaged in security patrols. Our principal office has a monitoring team overseeing the situation."

Expressing concern, bank officials emphasized the need for comprehensive security measures, particularly regarding the protection of weapons carried by police personnel from getting seized. They stressed the crucial role of both police and army in ensuring security.

Kya Sui Ching Marma, manager of Sonali Bank's Rajasthali branch, acknowledged the anxiety prevalent among staff and customers following recent incidents.

He mentioned: "It's natural to feel apprehensive after such incidents. We've followed directives from higher authorities, seeking assistance from the Rajasthan police station. Additional police presence and security measures have been implemented at the bank, but fear persists."

The Rangamati police superintendent affirmed that collaborative efforts with other security forces are underway to safeguard banks and financial institutions in the district.

He assured that all necessary precautions have been taken to avert any untoward incidents in Rangamati.

Robbers looted the Ruma upazila Sonali Bank around 9:30pm on Tuesday. They also snatched 14 firearms of police and Ansar members engaged in the security of the bank.

Gunmen attacked Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank in Bandarban's Thanchi upazila around 12:30pm on Wednesday and looted Tk15,00,000 from Sonali Bank and Tk2,45,000 from Krishi Bank.

Earlier, the gunmen broke the vault of Sonali Bank in Ruma upazila of Bandarban at around 8:30pm on Tuesday and looted around Tk2 crore.

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