TURA, Dec 22: Facing an unprecedented cash crunch despite Christmas being only two days away, agitated customers of the town of Baghmara shut down the State Bank of India (SBI) branch in the town after the branch distributed only Rs 2000 instead of Rs 24000 that is allowed per person per week on Thursday.
A similar incident also took place in the village of Chokpot where angry customers pelted stones at the Meghalaya Cooperative Apex (MCAB) bank for lack of cash therein.
The problems began after customers seeking to ensure they had enough money for the upcoming Christmas celebrations reached the Baghmara branch where they were allowed to withdraw only Rs 2000 each.
Angry customers at Baghmara locked the SBI branch from the outside when only Rs 2000 was being provided to them.
However in Chokpot the situation was a little different wherein the lack of currency led to customers pelting stones at the branch with people inside running for cover.
At Baghmara, matters took an ugly turn at around 10 AM when people scurrying for cash were informed that they would only be allowed to withdraw Rs 2000 each despite withdrawals to the tune of Rs 24000 being allowed per week.
Payments for MGNREGS were allegedly also due leading to the current crisis. Unsatisfied with the reply of bank officials, they locked up the main doors of the bank in protest with the police and magistrates rushing to bring the situation under control.
Things returned normal soon after the lock was broken and transactions resumed by noon.
The AGM of SBI in Garo Hills informed that while there was a shortage of smaller currency notes, there is an adequate amount of Rs. 2000 currency notes throughout the region.
“We have requested the district administration and banking authorities to ensure there is enough money in the banks to meet the expenses of people for the upcoming Christmas season. We cannot expect no revolt if things are not being followed according to allowed limits,” said the MDC of Wagesik in Baghmara who is also the Executive Member of Finance under GHADC, Sengnal Sangma.