SUHAIL A Shah
ANANTNAG: The State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Qaimoh area of Kulgam district is yet to resume operations fourteen days after some ‘unidentified gunmen’ carried out a robbery at the branch.
The customers of the branch have been left high and dry as well as insecure about the safety of their savings and other financial dealings.
On August 1, some ‘unidentified gunmen in army fatigues’ barged into the bank branch and held employees as well as customers at the bank hostage on gunpoint, while they took away cash.
The gunmen took away 5 lakh 78 thousand rupees from the branch and also thrashed the employees, after they refused to open the safety vault of the bank.
Following the incident, the branch stopped its operations altogether and is yet to resume.
Customers of the branch, while talking to Kashmir Reader, said that they have been put to hassle by the non-functioning of the branch.
A local businessman, Ishtiyaq Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that he used his SBI account for online transactions.
“I had some money in the account, which I exhausted during the last 14 days. I have been unable to deposit cash to the account to carry out further transactions,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the branch has remained closed with its doors locked and its ATM closed as well.
Other businessmen and customers of the bank from the area also raised concerns over closure of the branch.
“We have heard that the branch will be shifted from its present location but the thing is they have kept us in dark over everything. We do not know when the branch will start functioning again and we are worried and uncertain about the security of our deposits,” Jahangir Ahmad, another customer told Kashmir Reader.
The customers, however, rue the inconvenience caused more than the security of their deposits.
Regional Manager of the bank, Narinder Kumar, said that the branch has been closed down in wake of a police advisory.
“We had been advised by the police to keep the branch shut for now,” Kumar said.
He said that he would now seek fresh advice from the concerned SSP, in wake of the public inconvenience.
“I will talk to the concerned SSP today,” he said.