Militants rob Rs 11 lakh worth old currency notes from bank in Malpora village

Srinagar,Nov22:In an attempt to rob a bank for some cash, suspected militants barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Central Kashmir’s Malpora village looting Rs12.45 lakh at gunpoint.

The gunmen, however, suffered a massive faux paux when they discovered Rs11 lakh of the total looted money was old currency, that have been declared obsolete post the demonetization process.

Police said four masked gunmen had entered into the Malpora branch at Charar-i-Sharief in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Budgam police have registered a case, “ and a manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits,” said a police spokesman.

Located on the border of Budgam and Pulwama, the bank is located inside ‘hired shops’ and has never been given any proper security mechanism which police sources said might have been exploited by the gunmen for the heist. “This is a branch that has been operating from inside hired shops. There were no security cameras installed in the branch,” said Abdul Wahid Shah, Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam.

Police sources said four masked gunmen on board a WagonR disembarked near the branch and walked right into the bank. One of them then slapped the cashier and asked him to hand over the cash. They later took the money and escaped in the same car.

Police suspect militants in the heist a first in Jammu and Kashmir since the commencement of demonetization. There was no security guard posted in the bank and the gunmen were heavily armed. Police said the masked men spoke in Kashmiri and Urdu. “Investigations have been put on fast track to track down the militants responsible for the heist,” said a police officer.

The heist comes at a time when ‘terror financers’ have been hit hard by demonetization. Sources said ‘terror finances’ have shown signs of drying up in the wake of demonetization.

Intelligence sleuths and counter terrorism cops are working overtime to gauge the effect of the demonetization on the financing of terror and unrest in the militant hit Jammu and Kashmir.

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