The Tamil Nadu police have intensified security following a Central agency’s alert on a threat to Reserve Bank of India cash transfers to currency chests across the State. Police sources said the number of armed guards in the convoy escorting the vehicles that carried currency-notes was doubled immediately after the alert was issued recently.
Director-General of Police C. Sylendra Babu directed the Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to deploy sufficient manpower and vehicles for cash transfers. But senior bank officials have expressed concern over the deployment of a fewer number of policemen than the sanctioned strength at the currency chests.
At the State-level security review meeting, a senior official of a nationalised bank pointed out that the weapons given to the guards were inadequate. Nationalised banks have their currency chests in Chennai and other cities. Taking a serious note of the concern flagged by the banks, Mr. Sylendra Babu instructed senior officials to make sure that the deployment of policemen matched the sanctioned strength. An advisory was sent out to supervisory officers to ensure that guards with sufficient arms and ammunition were available at the currency chests at all times, the sources said.
Police officials raised the issue relating to the payment for the security cover from some banks. Dues to the tune of ₹94 lakh were pending from a few nationalised and private banks, they said. On August 9, 2016, an unprecedented heist occurred in the State on a moving train when an unidentified gang drilled a hole into a parcel van transporting soiled currency-notes from a bank to the RBI. The Crime Branch-CID, which investigated the theft of ₹5.75 crore from the Salem-Chennai Express, arrested a gang from Madhya Pradesh. But no significant recovery was made.