Assam banks alerted about currency exchange by militants
Guwahati, Dec 13 (IANS) With the possibility of militant outfits in Assam trying to convert their old currency into new post demonetisation, police urged banks to keep strict track of transactions.
The Police asked the banks to be careful especially regarding huge deposits in places where it is mostly unlikely, officials said on Tuesday.
During a recent meeting, Police asked 14 major banks in Assam, including Reserve Bank of India’s Guwahati office, to keep a lookout for ways in which militants may possibly get their money converted into new currency notes.
The meeting was chaired by Special Director General (Law and Order) Kuladhar Saikia.
The banks have been told to alert the state police in case there is any exchange of money through contractors and traders involved in business across the border.
Keeping in view the modus operandi in earlier cases, the bankers have been told to be alert about sudden huge money transfers to accounts of companies, firms and business entities if there was an attempt at extortion.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 evening, he stated curbing terror funding as one of the objectives behind the move.
The banks in Assam have also been told to inform police in case there was an extra submission of school fees termed Children Education Allowance either for the children of militants or the children of their kin.
Banks officials have also been told to strictly monitor third party transfers which is what militants could resort to get their money exchanged.
“Scarcity of cash has handicapped the ultras in terms of extortion. Any sort of covert or overt collusion with militants in collecting the money and extortion could be taken as part of facilitating terror financing,” Saika told IANS.
Informed sources said that eagerness among the militant groups in Assam to get their money exchanged is more as some of them are trying to regroup themselves on a common platform.
According to Assam police, districts like Charaideo and Dibrugarh have witnessed apprehension of militants while collecting money through various means recently.
Similar cases were also witnessed in Bodo Territorial Area Districts of the state leading to the arrest of a number of militants and recovery of arms.
The militant groups currently active in the state are the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit) and a number of Karbi militant outfits.