A demonstration planned by bank employees Thursday evening in front of regional RBI office here was cancelled Wednesday after police denied them permission for it, citing “traffic” and “lack of manpower”. Members of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) had planned the protest in “the interest of common people and bank employees” in the wake of demonetisation. Close to 500 bank officers and employees were slated to take part in the demonstration.
“We sought had police permission two days ago, and police have denied us permission citing law and order and traffic issues. We were intending to stage a peaceful demonstration in the interest of common people and bank employees, but it was denied by the police authority with a reason of disturbance. Police also said that their personnel were presently deployed at various bank branches due to the current demonetisation move. We cannot hold a demonstration without police permission, as most of the employees with us are working in nationalised banks and PSUs. However, we will submit a letter to the regional RBI manager that spells out our demands and grievances. Such demonstrations took place in Maharashtra, UP and West Bengal on December 14, but has hit a roadblock in Gujarat. This is an attack on our fundamental, democratic rights to protest as a trade union,” said Janak Rawal, general secretary of Mahagujarat Bank Employees Association (MBEA) that is affiliated to AIBEA.
The letter is penned by Janak Rawal, general secretary of MBEA, and Mahendra Pandya, general secretary of AIBEA, Gujarat, and addressed to RBI Governor Urjit Patel. The letter states: “There is repeated announcement by the RBI that enough cash is being released to the banks. But fact remains that branches do not have adequate cash with them. For the last 10 days, salaried employees and workers are thronging banks to withdraw draw cash but branches have to disappoint them or ration the existing cash stock and permit lesser amount than what they want to withdraw. We are getting reports that in some branches, agitated customers and public are resorting to violence… The customers are so irritated that they hurl unimaginable abuses at the counter staff and officers/managers for no fault of them. This is resulting in lot of mental pressure…”