Terror funding got massively affected due to demonetisation. Now the militants are using the way of robbery to stock up their funds. Alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba militants on Thursday looted Rs 11 lakh from Jammu and Kashmir bank’s Ratnipora branch.
On December 8, robbers targeted the same bank’s Pulwama branch and looted Rs 13.38 lakh.
After demonetisation four branches of Jammu and Kashmir bank were looted and robbers escaped with around Rs 69.45 lakh in which Rs 25.16 lakh comprised of old demonetisation notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. But in Budgam their attempts to loot the bank was failed.
A group of three gunmen forcibly entered the Ratnipora branch. A bank employee said two armed men aimed a gun at them and demanded cash.
Army and police cordoned off the bank but the militants were successful in fleeing. Reports said that of the looted cash Rs 16, 000 was in old currency notes.
Senior superintendent of police, Pulwama, Rayees Mohammad Bhat said the three militants were identified with the help of CCTV footages. Two were foreign robbers; Abu Ali and Abu Ismail. The third one was Arif Dar, a local militant, a resident of Lelhar.
Dr SP Vaid, special director general of police, Jammu & Kashmir told DNA, “Obviously they must be feeling the heat of demonetisation. Demonetisation has apparently squeezed them financially.”
After demonetisation, the terrorist and their workers faced cash crunch for which they faced problems in their activities.
Mohammad Bhat stated DNA, “They (ultras) are facing the heat. Since demonetisation it is the third incident of bank robbery and each time they have decamped with around Rs 10 lakh. It is same four-member Lashkar-e-Taiba group comprising two Pakistani ultras and two locals who carry out bank robberies.”
The militants need lots of money for paying their men and buy arms. Bhat said the terrorists pay their cadres as per their need and they have no fixed amounts. Also, they need money to buy phones, SIM cards and for transportation. “They also need money to pay their over ground workers. But post demonetization they are facing the shortage of finances”.
During different counter-terror operations, security forces last year seized Rs 6,75,684 in Indian currency from the militants. According to an intelligence officer, “Everything is done in cash. The demonetising has hit them hard. The money they might be having has gone waste because they were dealing mostly in old high denomination notes.”