Baripada: Even as the police are clueless on four ATM loot incidents that occurred in the night of July 21 here, Mayurbhanj SP Abinash Kumar has suspended 10 police officials for dereliction of duty.
Masked miscreants had decamped with over Rs 25 lakh from the ATMs when the town was crowded with thousands of people and had police deployment for Rath Yatra.
Locals alleged that miscreants looted the cash using gas cutters from Axis Bank ATM at Tulasi Chaura, Bank of India ATM at Station Bazaar, United Bank of India ATM at Palabani and Union Bank of India ATM at Astia for lax security by the police.
The police started an investigation on the basis of the CCTV footage while a forensic team and sniffer dogs were pressed into service, but no clue was available for the cases.
For negligence of duty, the SP has suspended two ASIs, two havildars and four constables. Another constable and havildar, who were found absent from duty, were also suspended amid talks that top police officials have shifted the blame on their subordinates in the loot cases.
The SP has taken the action on the basis of a report submitted by SDPO Abhimanyu Nayak and DSP Jadunath Jena.
The suspended cops were ASIs Basant Kumar Pradhan and Muralidhar Nayak, havildars Aditya Bahal, BK Mohapatra and Ganeswar Das, and constables Sudarsan Das, Santosh Bindhani, Trupti Pani, BB Tudu and Minaketan Palei.
The investigation report stated that eight cops had been deployed for patrolling but some of them were either sleeping or absent from the duty spot.
The SP said the ATM loot cases are under investigation while 10 policemen were suspended for negligence of duty and absence. “The accused will be arrested soon. Security at entry points will be stepped up,” he added.