Srinagar: In a bid to restore law and order in restive Kashmir, the government has asked the state-owned J&K Bank to “set the clock to the right time” with regard to the working hours at its branches.
In the past weeks of continued unrest, the business units of the bank across Kashmir would often operate in the odd hours from 7:00 AM to 10:00 or 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
Sources said after 52 days of chronic curfew imposed in the wake of killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his two colleagues, initially some of the bank branches started “early morning operations” particularly dealing with the salary of the employees.
“As the move remained successful and hassle-free, the trend picked up prompting other branches to operate for some three hours in the early morning hours. By 11:00 AM our staff would leave for their homes,” said a J&K Bank branch manager asking not to be identified.
However, the government has asked the Chairman J&K Bank to resume normal banking hours. Sources said Union Home Ministry would act strictly should the bank fail to honour the usual timing.
The Reserve Bank of India would also be informed about the transaction logs of the J&K Bank to see if any violation was made with regard to the “designated banking hours.”
All the branch managers across Kashmir have reportedly been instructed to ensure normal timings. “Apart from online monitoring, squads have been established to keep a vigil on the operations,” the insiders said.
Sources said a decision in this regard was taken by the J&K Bank Chairman and CEO, Parvez Ahmed, after consultation with the Board of Directors.
Peoples Democratic Party led government is struggling hard to restore normalcy in the Kashmir valley, where at least 94 persons have so far besides injuring thousands.
The united Hurriyat spearheading the agitation continues with protest program announced it in the form of weekly calendars.
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