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EXCLUSIVE: Amid Indian Currency Mayhem, Kashmir Still Banks Upon Old Currency Notes

At this point of time when the people of India are grappling to get their high denomination currency, Kashmir is still using the old currency notes.

A shop in Kashmir. (Representational image) Pixabay

Srinagar, November 12, 2016: At this point of time when the people of India are grappling to get their high denomination currency exchanged in the banks by standing in long queues for hours at stretch, Kashmir is still using the old currency notes.

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Unlike the rest of the country, people of Kashmir were already banking upon their limited cash due to the unrest of more than 100 days. So, a small group of shopkeepers in Kashmir has come forward to help the people having a limited cash by accepting old currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1000 in exchange of the goods they need.

Due to the unrest, the banks open for a limited period of time, that is only for a few hours. For which, exchanging of money isn’t going quite smooth for the people of the valley.

A shopkeeper, Ali Mohammad who sells essential commodities in Sehri Khas, Srinagar, says, “By December, I would certainly not have more than 2.5 lakh cash in hand, so if a few people are handing over notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 it won’t really affect me as such. If at all my amount of cash reaches 2 lakh, I’ll go and deposit it.”

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He further added, “It doesn’t matter whether I deposit the money or the person himself does it. Rather, it is better if I do it because it will be some help to those who are out of cash.”

Shopkeepers are also providing assistance in general, to help out poor rural people those who don’t have a bank account. They are accepting and exchanging the old currency notes for them.

Plastic money or e-money is not even an option for the people of Kashmir, as the internet too have suffered a lot due the unrest and is not in proper working conditions.

An organization of trade bodies, Kashmir Economic Alliance’s Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Khan said, “We have already suffered in the uprising of more than 120 days, who so ever is accepting the old currency notes, it is their own choice and for the sake of humanity. There is no compulsion from the trade bodies on them.”

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He further added, “In view of the circumstances of Kashmir, some special concession should be given by the government to deposit the money as the banks remain open hardly for a few hours in a day.”

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram with inputs from Irfan Rashid. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    Shopkeepers are doing so only for the sake of humanity…..ok its fine…but we have to respect the decision of our PM

  • Diksha Arya

    Great work by the shopkeepers….

Next Story

The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

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“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)