These two incidents of attempted robbery have raised worries among the ATM booth security guards in Motijheel area.
A youth wearing a helmet and a facemask entered an ATM booth of BRAC Bank at Motijheel commercial area in Dhaka at about 5:30am on 31 October last.
He sought help from the booth's security guard in withdrawing money as he was using a "foreign card". When guard Jasim Uddin came, the youth instantly tied him up, stabbed on his neck, looted a mobile phone and Tk1,000 and locked him up in the server room.
He later unscrewed the ATM machine, tore all wires connected to the server and pulled away two closed-circuit television cameras. Local people, however, caught him red handed and surrendered to the Motijheel police. He was produced before a Dhaka court the next day.
Yet, the alleged robber, Alif Sakin Habib (20), hailing from Chandpur, told the court he does not know how went to the ATM booth for the robbery.
On 1 November, he told the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Atiqul Islam that he has sleep disorders. On 31 October midnight, he took several sleeping pills and drove away with his bike from his present residence at Matuail in Jatrabari, according to the confessional statement recorded by the police.
"I cannot recall what happened after that," he wrote in the statement.
However, police seized a shovel, two knives, two screwdrivers, school bags, a motorcycle and a mobile phone during his arrest, said the statement.
Jahidul Islam Shohag, assistant commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Motijheel zone, said the alleged robber informed the court he was mentally sick and was unable to recall what he did on that night.
"However, we seized tools of robbery from his possession which are enough to prove him guilty."
Police also alleged the same youth, Alif, attempted another robbery at an AB Bank ATM booth at the same area on 28 October.
"At around 2am on that night, he came riding a motorbike with a helmet and facemask to rob the booth. But on-duty security guards and local people foiled his plan. We had been searching for him since then," said Motijheel Police Station's Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Yeasir Arafat Khan.
Meanwhile, these two incidents, in a quick succession, have raised worries among the ATM booth security guards in Motijheel area.
"What happened on that morning is a nightmare to me. I was lucky enough to have escaped death narrowly. He (robber) could have killed me," said Jasim Uddin, the victim guard at the BRAC Bank ATM booth appointed by security provider company Garda Shield.
"Security guards in this area are still in trauma as there is a lack of enough security arrangements for them while on duty. Even, some are planning to quit the job," said Md Alam Hossain, a field security officer of Garda Shield, who filed the case over the incident.
When contacted over the issue, a high official of Garda Shield, wishing anonymity, said they are training their security guards on developing tactics and arranging necessary preliminary physical exercise to improve their skills in both saving their lives and foiling unwanted attempts at workplaces.
Meanwhile, police official Jahidul Islam Shohag said they are enhancing security in the Motijheel bank area to prevent such attempts.