Terrorists break into J&K Bank branch in Pulwama, loot Rs 11 lakhs

They looted Rs 11 lakh, of which, Rs 16,000 in demonetised notes and rest in valid currency, police said.

Terrorists break into J&K Bank branch in Pulwama, loot Rs 11 lakhs

In yet another incident of robbery post demonetisation,  militants looted about Rs 11 lakhs from a bank in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

Media reports quoted police officials as saying that the militants, whose number was not clear yet, barged into the J&K Bank branch at Rantipora in Pulwama district.

“Obviously they must be feeling the heat of demonetization. Demonetization has apparently squeezed them financially,” Dr SP Vaid, special director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, told DNA.

They looted Rs 11 lakh, of which, Rs 16,000 are demonetised notes and rest are valid currency, police said. When police arrived on the spot soon after the incident, local residents started pelting stones at them, he said.

SP Pulwama Rayees Mohammad Bhat told The New Indian Express that four armed militants were involved in the bank robbery. The official told the newspaper that there were no security guards in the bank when it was robbed. “It was not being guarded by any security guard”.

Asked whether the bank robbery was the handiwork of militants, the police official said, “Of course, it is. The militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba are involved in the bank robbery.” He said after going through CCTV footage, they found that four LeT militants were involved in the attack.

“We have identified the militants. Two of them are Pakistani militants while two others are locals,” Bhat said.'

The Prime Minister, after announcing demonetisation, had said one of the reasons for the decision was to choke funds to militants.

After demonetisation, four branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank has been looted by robber and decamped with around Rs 69.45 lakh of which Rs 25.16 lakh comprised of old denomination notes of Rs 500 and RS 1000. One of the attempts to loot the bank was foiled in Budgam district of central Kashmir.

Most of the banks were looted by militants in militancy-infested south Kashmir belt. Latest being the J&K bank Ratnipora branch in Pulwama district where militants looted around Rs 10 lakh on Thursday.