New Delhi: As serpentine queues continued to be seen outside banks and ATMs across the country today, patience wore thin among the hassled public leading to heated arguments and jostling, with banks and cash vends running dry soon after they opened their shutters.
With banks scheduled to remain closed tomorrow on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti, people scrambled to withdraw new banknotes to meet their daily needs and exchange existing high value notes after demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.
In Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh, angry people clashed with bank employees and threw stones at the branch at Sujru village, leaving three persons including a woman injured.
Police said as the branch ran out of new notes, the people who had gathered there in large numbers clashed with bank employees. Over a hundred people have been booked in connection with the incident.
In the national capital, people continued to face hardship as they queued up in large numbers outside banks and ATMs to get cash to meet their daily need.
Heated arguments were exchanged as cash in ATMs and banks ran dry as the day drew to an end.
Security was beefed up outside bank branches, after there were rumours about stampede, people plundering goods from a mall in Seelampur yesterday.
“Since it’s a Sunday, we expected more crowds outside banks and ATMs. We made adequate security arrangements to ensure no untoward incident occurs,” said a senior police official.
To manage anxious crowds, as many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police along with 200 quick reaction teams have been deployed at ATMs and banks.
At many places, people were seen running from one ATM to other as the machines ran out of cash.
Long, snaking queues continued to be seen outside banks and ATMs in Mumbai with those facing cash paucity complaining about having to wait for hours as the bank branches themselves were running short of currency notes.
Longer queues were seen outside public sector banks where a sizeable number of account holders are retired persons and senior citizens.
There was increased anxiety among some customers as the bank staff took longer time to process their cash request.
Some people with accounts in cooperative banks in Maharashtra complained that they took longer time to get their money exchanged from such banks because of the cash crunch.
Meanwhile, workers from political parties including BJP, Shiv Sena, MNS and Congress came out to help the people standing in queues outside banks and ATMs in Mumbai, by offering them drinking water and refreshments like tea.
Though there has been some relief through such help from political outfits, the process of verification of notes, updating of accounts and printing it on passbooks were taking time, increasing the woes of people.