Srinagar, Dec 17: Hit by demonetisation, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba formed a module which focused on bank robberies in Jammu and Kashmir. Three militants of the dreaded outfit had robbed Rs 10 lakh from a bank at Ratnipora area in Pulwama on Thursday. A similar incident had taken place on November 21 when militants robbed a bank in the Chrar-e-Sharief areaof Budgam district. The militants escaped after robbing Rs 14 lakh. The Jammu and Kashmir police say that the module was headed by Arif Dar, Abu Ismail and Abu Ali.
Militants have been facing a cash crunch since the decision on demonetisation was made on November 8. The militants would rely heavily on the fake currency business to raise funds. However with the government declaring that the Rs 500 and 1,000 notes are no longer legal tender, the fake currency industry took a beating.
Funding militancy by robbing banks:
There has been a rise in the number of bank robberies in Jammu and Kashmir since the decision on demonetisation was made. The module headed by three operatives of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba have been plotting and executing a spate of bank robberies.
Since November 8 there have been three major robberies that have been reported. Abu Ali and Abu Ismail are Pakistan nationals while Arif Dar is a local. Ali and Dar would enter the banks and carry out the robbery while Ismail would wait outside to provide cover.
Police officials in J&K say that an analysis of the CCTV footage showed that it was the same module comprising three persons which carried out these robberies. According to Rayees Mohammad, the Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, it is the module of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which has carried out these bank robberies.
Three such incidents have been reported since November 8. The first robbery was on November 21, 13 days after the decision on demonetisation was made. The second was reported on December 8 and third on Thursday.
- On December 8, militants robbed the Jammu and Kashmir bank at Arihal in Pulwama district. They fled with Rs 14 lakh after firing several rounds.
- On November 21 militants struck at a ban in the Chrar-e-Sharif area of Budgam before escaping with Rs 14 lakh.
- On Thursday, militants robbed the Jammu and Kashmir Bank at Ratnipora in Pulwama before fleeing with Rs 10 lakh.