Millennium Post

Protesters block road in Mathabhanga as ATMs run dry

Queues stretched out on the roads as banks gave out new notes for the old ones, and accepted deposits of demonetised currency across the district in Cooch Behar.

But the scenario was not always the same. The local residents blocked the road at College More, Mathabhanga after they were unable to get money from ATMs.

The banks were closed in Sunday, but the ATMs were supposed to be working properly. But the people found most of the ATMs were out of cash and some of them were even closed.

Vehicles parked in front of banks and ATMs, blocked roads and caused traffic jams in several areas. Hours before banks opened, people had lined up outside. “Yesterday (Saturday), it was election. But today (Sunday) the bank is closed. When do we get money?” asked a protester.

As many as 100 people, all local residents, were detained and later released by the police, when they put up a road blockade to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that the Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes were not valid.

Alleging that Mr Modi failed to bring out black money and banned the currency notes only to divert the attention of the people which put hardships on common people, the volunteers put up a road blockade on Sunday morning and were arrested.

“This is a very harsh decision. The common people were not ready. We are not politicians. We are common people who are protesting against the Central government’s demonetisation drive,” said a protester.

Police, however, managed the situation there. However, the protesters threatened to come again on Monday if the local banks do not cooperate.

“We will again block the road if we see that the ATMs are not functioning on Monday,” the protesters threatened.
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