In 6 years, 112 bank robberies reported in J&K

In 2017-18, 32 bank robberies involving a loot of Rs 87 lakh were reported across the state. In the current financial year, 2018-19, till September, six incidents were reported in which Rs 12 lakh have been looted.

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 19 2018 12:41AM | Updated Date: Dec 19 2018 12:41AM
In 6 years, 112 bank robberies reported in J&KRepresentational Pic

In Jammu and Kashmir over Rs 3.5 crore were looted in 112 bank robberies/burglaries reported in the last six years even as these incidents have witnessed over 100 percent increase in the last three years.

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, since 2013, 112 bank robberies have been reported in J&K. The highest number of robberies i.e. 38, was recorded in 2016-17 in which Rs 2 crore were looted from the banks in the state.

In 2017-18, 32 bank robberies involving a loot of Rs 87 lakh were reported across the state. In the current financial year, 2018-19, till September, six incidents were reported in which Rs 12 lakh have been looted.

In comparison to these three fiscal years, the incidents of bank robberies/burglaries were lesser in the earlier years. In 2013-14, 12 incidents were reported and in 2014-15 the number of such incidents was just 6.

According to the data, major brunt of these burglaries has been borne by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank which has a wider presence in the state.

In the last two years, the incidents of bank loot have witnessed steep increase particularly in the south Kashmir.

Last year, the rise in the bank robberies by unidentified armed gunmen in South Kashmir forced the state government to issue an advisory to J&K Bank advising it to immediately stop cash transactions in at least 40 branches in Pulwama and Shopian districts of South Kashmir for some time.

According to a bank executive, between late 1990s and early 2000s, the bank robberies had witnessed a decline in Kashmir.

“The recent spurt in robberies dates back to the two years and the audacity with which they have taken place has shocked everybody,” he said.

The most serious threat because of the broad daylight robberies is faced by J&K Bank that has the largest presence in Kashmir.

“J&K Bank has over 200 branches in rural and far-flung parts of the Valley. Our cash dispensing vans secured by armed guards, both from the bank and the state police, move on an almost daily basis dispensing cash to branches in the Valley. Given our presence and reach, we are the most vulnerable in a situation like the present one,” said a JK Bank executive.

The increasing incidents of the bank robberies has forced the bank branches to beef up security and follow proper protocol while dispensing cash in the ATMs.

“Definitely we are worried about bank robbery cases. We have asked the state government to increase vigil around the bank branches in the state particularly in the South Kashmir,” said a senior executive of SBI.

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