BANKS IN West Bengal have asked the state administration and police to provide security at their branches for the next few days, anticipating a heavy rush of customers coming in to deposit their cash in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. The request from headquarters and regional headquarters of various banks was routed through the State Level Bankers’ Association (SLBC) to the state government on Wednesday through a letter addressed to the state chief secretary, director general of police and Kolkata Police commissioner.
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A senior member of the SLBC said they apprehended a serious law and order situation given the avalanche of customers expected at banks as soon as they opened.
“Thus, we have requested for police security to avoid any untoward incident,” he said.
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A senior police officer said it was not possible to provide security to all bank branches across the state. “Police officials, however, have been asked to be alert and take all steps to avoid any untoward incident,” he said. The RBI’s decision to keep banks open on November 12 and 13 (Saturday and Sunday) spelled relief for both banks and their customers.
“Both bankers and customers are relieved as Monday is a holiday as it is,” the CLBC member said. In another development, SBI has announced that their branches will be operating for an extra working hour, till 6 pm, on November 10.
ICICI Bank, on the other hand, has said that its branches will be functioning from 8 am to 8 pm on November 10 and 11. There will be additional cash counters of Canara Bank at all its branches for the initial few days.
After being shut for a day, banks will open Thursday while ATMs will remain closed for another day. PTI INPUTS