When bank officials informed there was no cash, people grew restive and prevented opening of the branch. As banks opened on Tuesday after a three-day break, police had to intervene to calm angry customers at Kelakam in northern Kannur district and Uzhavoor in Kottayam after they turned their ire against bank officials on being informed about shortage of cash.
Long queues were seen in front of the Kelakam branch of Federal Bank since early morning as people waited patiently for the rural branch to open. The branch caters to the needs of customers in Kelakam and Kottiyoor panchayats of Kannur. However, when bank officials informed there was no cash, people grew restive and prevented opening of the branch. Police had to step in to bring the matter under control and all customers in the queue were given tokens and asked to come on Wednesday to collect the cash. "About 300 persons were standing in the queue even before the branch opened. We had put up a no cash board as there was some shortage. The customers insisted that all those standing in the queue should be paid money today itself, which was not possible for us," Bank's Chief Manager, V M Vijayan, told PTI.
The high range branch, bordering Waynad district, has mostly farmers as its customers. Vijayan said most of the customers demand Rs 24,000 in cash and it was not possible to satisfy all of them. "All the customers will be paid tomorrow and they have been given tokens," he said. In the Uzhavoor branch of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) also there was shortage of cash, police said. Bank officials with police escort had gone to collect cash, police added.