The Jammu & Kashmir Bank has stopped cash transactions in at least 40 branches in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts following a sudden spurt in bank robberies by gunmen in the last few days.
“A customer can deposit cash in the form of cheques and he can even transfer his money,” a J&K Bank official was quoted by a local news agency as saying.
“In a way, these bank branches will be cashless and will do business in receipt form only,” he said, adding that these branches will not be shifted and will function normally.
Customers in these areas can do cash transactions at the nearest ‘safe branches’.
Unidentified gunmen have struck banks, especially J&K Bank, the largest in the state, at least nine times since November 8, looting more than Rs 50 lakh.
Police have blamed Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba for the incidents, saying it is a sign of cash-starved militants trying to keep the funds flowing.
However, militants have vehemently denied these allegations.
Lashkar-e-Taiba spokesman, Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi on Friday evening issued a statement saying it “doesn’t believe in heist”.
“Robbing banks is not the work of militants. Honesty, truth and serving Kashmiri people is our core trait. This is an Indian agenda to malign us and has been planned in New Delhi,” he said.