Anantnag: Gunmen wearing burqas robbed a branch of Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Arwini area of Bijbehara here in Anantnag district on Monday. The robbers decamped with Rs 5.20 lakh from the branch, while they held the entire staff at gun point.
This was the 9th bank robbery since November in south Kashmir. It was the first in Anantnag district, where otherwise at least 4 ATM machines have been robbed in the months of April and May this year.
Police have been blaming militants for these robberies but militants have issued many statements distancing themselves from the acts.
Today’s robbery was carried out after a gap of about three months. SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan, confirmed to Kashmir Reader that more than five lakh rupees were looted from the bank.
According to police reports, the robbers were three in number. “Two of them were wearing burqas and brandished AK-47 rifles. The third one was unarmed and had his face masked. He stood guard at the bank gate while the other two held bank employees at gunpoint,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
The police story has been corroborated by CCTV footage of the robbery. The gunmen are seen firing a few gun shots in the air when they fled after taking the money.
Soon after, government forces reached the spot and the area was cordoned off. By then, the robbers had made their escape.
“The bank staff have been questioned and an investigation has been initiated into the incident,” a police official told Kashmir reader.
Timeline of bank robberies
November 21: Gunmen loot Rs 13.38 lakh from J&K Bank branch in Charar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district.
December 8: Gunmen loot Rs 13 lakh from J&K Bank branch in Arihal area of Pulwama district.
December 15: Gunmen take away Rs 9.84 lakh from Ratnipora branch of J&K Bank in Pulwama district.
February 16: Rs 3.20 lakh looted from J&K Bank branch in Turk-e-Wangam area of Shopian district.
April 19: Armed men loot more than Rs 10 lakh cash and take away keys to the cash chest from Harmain branch of J&K Bank in Shopian district.
May 2: Gunmen decamp with Rs 65,850 from Ellaquai Dehati Bank branch in Kadyer village of Kulgam district.
May 3: Gunmen loot Rs 4.9 lakh from Ellaquai Dehati Bank (EDB) branch in Wahibugh village of Pulwama district.
May 3: Rs 1.3 lakh looted at gunpoint from J&K Bank branch in Nihama village of Kakapora.
Jul 31: Rs 5.20 lakh looted from J&K Bank branch in Arwini area of Bijbehara.
January 18: An ATM machine with Rs 14 lakh in cash whisked away in main town Anantnag.
April 18: State Bank of India ATM taken away with unknown amount of cash from KP Road area of Anantnag town.
May 31: Another SBI ATM stolen from Achabal Adda area of Anantnag town, with Rs 20.96 lakh inside.
June 17: SBI ATM machine stolen from Zirapara area of Bijbehara with an unascertained amount in it.