Jammu and Kashmir: Fifth bank robbery in a week; two banks robbed in two hours

Sriparna Ghosh
Ellaquai Dehati Bank in Pulwama District

The demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be taking a bitter toll on terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, who have resorted to looting banks to fund their activities. After two banks in South Kashmir were looted on Wednesday, May 3, within a span of two hours, the number of bank robberies rose to five this week.

The first incident was reported from Wahibug village in Pulwama where unidentified gunmen looted Rs 4.9 lakh from Ellaquai Dehati Bank. The robbery took place at around 2 pm and the robbers left the bank within three minutes.

"They entered the bank. Kept the manager at gunpoint and decamped with Rs 4.9 lakh in about three minutes," Raes M Bhat, the SSP of Pulwama told International Business Times, India.

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The next incident took place at around 3 pm at Nihama in Avantipore where a group of unidentified gunmen looted Rs 1.4 lakh. The robbery spanned around three to four minutes.

The J&K bank in the Nehama area

The SSP added that though terrorist held people in the bank at gunpoint, none were injured.

On Tuesday, two terrorists had barged into Ellaquai Dehati Bank's Kader Yaripora branch in Kulgam district and fled with Rs 65,000 cash.

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It was the third such incident in south Kashmir in the past one week. On Monday, five policeman and two civilians were killed when several terrorists opened fire on a van belonging to a bank in Kulgam. After firing at the van, the terrorists had dragged policemen and bank officials out of the van and shot them at point-blank range.

The cash van that was looted on May 1, 2017 in Kashmir's Kulgam district.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Police have announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information on Hizbul Mujahideen militant Umer Majid, who is suspected of being involved in the Kulgam cash van looting.

In another case on April 28, a militant was arrested after security forces foiled a bank robbery bid in Anantnag district.