An amount of Rs 12 lakh was looted from Charar-i-Sharif branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank by unidentified gunmen in Budgam district, according to a report by India Today.

Sources have said that the loot consisted mostly of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, according to The Indian Express. The bank officials alerted the police after the incident.

Further investigations are in progress. An investigation has been launched, and a case has been registered, according to The Kashmir Monitor.

The four masked men with guns who broke in and assumed to be terrorists, are also involved in another robbery in Malpora, says a report in The Financial Express. Footage from CCTV cameras are still to be acquired; the bank was uncertain as to whether they were in working condition.

These robberies come at a time when the entire country faces a cash crunch over the demonetisation of higher denomination notes, and banks and ATMs witness long queues.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Although, where the rest of the country seemed to be in turmoil following the move, an IANS report said that people in Kashmir had accepted the move without any panic. “No common Kashmiri keeps large amounts of cash at home because of the disturbed situation,” said Elizabeth Maryam, who teaches economics at Kashmir University.

“The salaried class gets monthly wages through bank accounts and they usually space out withdrawals to suit daily needs. The skilled and unskilled workers mostly earn as much as they spend on an average. Big industrialists and businessmen never keep large amounts of cash at home in a conflict area. That is the reason why the demonetisation has little impact in Kashmir,” Maryam added.

According to Nazir Qazi, an officer of the local Jammu and Kashmir Bank, all the ATMs of the bank are fully stocked (as of 17 November). “For the last eight days there has been no rush on either our branches or at our ATM outlets. Yes, people have been coming in for exchange of the demonetised currency notes or for deposit, but nobody was being hassled,” he added.

Intelligence officials, meanwhile, believe that using fake currency notes is part of the ongoing militancy and doing the same with the new currency notes would not take long.

With inputs from IANS

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 12:39 IST

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Demonetisation: Militants loot Jammu & Kashmir bank in Budgam, take mostly old notes