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Millennium Post

Nightcrawlers’ skip sleep to queue up outside ATMs

Rashid is a salesman in Delhi and even though he has to get up early in the morning he has no choice but to stand in the long serpentine ATM queues late at night. It is almost mid-night on Monday and the queue has swelled considering the fact that the three days holiday has prevented the residents to go to the banks.

“I am not sure if I would be lucky tomorrow to find an ATM which has cash or will I be able to find time to stand in a long queue in the morning. Its better to be on a safer side and withdraw money in the night itself,” says Rashid.

The residents showed resentment that the ATMs in the area had been refilled after a long time and hence even at night, there were huge queues. Some also showed discomfort for the fact that this particular ATM that the correspondent visited was giving out Rs 500 notes. They feared that before their turn would come, the ATM might dry up.

“I have left my children at home and have come to withdraw money at night. If I wait until morning, I am not sure which ATM I should go for to get cash. I can’t travel long distances as well,” says Rashida, who covered her face and stood in a small line for women that was adjacent to the men’s queue. A small scuffle also broke out when some young men tried to jump their turns and were confronted by the other locals in the area.

“I stood in Axis Bank ATM that gave Rs 2,000 notes for around two hours. Before my turn, it ran out of cash. Again, I am standing in this ATM queue to get money. Since its night the probability to get cash is high as many are sleeping right now,” said Junaid Anwer, a middle-aged man.

Some men were also seen carrying their teenage children to the ATMs so that more cash could be withdrawn in a family.

“Usually we are supposed to hide our passwords but now, this demonetisation has thrown all rules for a toss. Look at the rush here, at least six or seven men are inside the ATM. How can we hide our passwords,” asks Kabeer, a resident of the area. 
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