First of the year, and 12th bank robbery since demonetization in south Kashmir
ANANTNAG: After a lull of more than seven months, unidentified gunmen on Friday robbed yet another bank branch, this time in Kulgam district, decamping with more than Rs 3 lakh. The robbery was the 12th in south Kashmir since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of high-denomination currency in November 2016.
As per police reports, two to three armed men barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s branch in Qaimoh area of Kulgam, at about half past noon.
“The armed militants demanded money from the employees at gunpoint. The employees handed over Rs 3 lakh 28 thousand to the militants,” a senior police official from the area said.
He said that the area was soon after cordoned off and the police were conducting an inquiry.
“A case has been lodged into the incident and investigation has been started. A hunt has also been launched to try and nab the militants believed to be behind the robbery,” the police official said.
Bank robberies in south Kashmir started in November 2016, right after the demonetisation announcement. More than a dozen robberies were carried out in different parts of the region, while many ATM machines were also taken away by unidentified men.
The police, right from the very first robbery, have been blaming militants for the loot. The militants, on the other hand, have issues several statements distancing themselves from such acts.
November 21, 2016: Rs 13 lakh robbed by unidentified gunmen from J&K Bank Arihal branch in Pulwama district.
December 8, 2016: Rs 13.38 lakh robbed by gunmen from J&K Bank Charar-e-Sharief branch in Budgam district.
December 15, 2016: Rs 9.84 lakh robbed from J&K Bank Ratnipora branch in Pulwama district.
February 16, 2017: Rs 3.20 lakh looted from J&K Bank Turk-e-Wangam branch in Shopian district.
April 19, 2017: More than Rs 10 lakh looted from J&K Bank Harmain branch in Shopian district. Gunmen decamped with keys to the chest as well.
May 2, 2017: Gunmen decamp with Rs 65,850 from Ellaquai Dehati Bank (EDB) Kadyer branch in Kulgam district.
May 3, 2017: Rs 4.9 lakh looted from Ellaquai Dehati Bank (EDB) branch in Wahibugh village of Pulwama district.
May 3, 2017: Rs 1.3 lakh looted at gunpoint from
J&K Bank branch in Nihama village of Kakapora.
Jul 31, 2017: Rs 5.20 lakh robbed from J&K Bank branch in Arwini area of Bijbehara.
October 12, 2017: Rs 5.42 lakh looted from J&K Bank branch in Marhama village of Anantnag district.
May 18, 2018: Rs 3.28 lakh robbed by gunmen from J&K Bank branch in Qaimoh.
January 18, 2017: ATM machine with Rs 14 lakh of cash carried away in main town Anantnag.
April 18, 2017: State Bank of India ATM taken away, with unknown amount, from KP Road area of Anantnag town.
May 31, 2017: Another SBI ATM stolen from Achabal Adda area of Anantnag town. Rs 20.96 lakh were in the machine.
June 17, 2017: SBI ATM machine stolen from Zirapara area of Bijbehara with an unascertained amount in it.