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Rural bank employees want to quit Kashmir

Last week, 26-year-old Vijay Kumar of Rajasthan and the manager at Ellaqua Dehati Bank (EDB) at Kulgam, was shot dead in his office.

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Srinagar: Days after the killing of a bank manager, the Joint Forum of Gramin Bank Unions (JFGBU) has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding that employees belonging to other states or outside the Kashmir Valley be relocated outside to “restrict any further bloodshed”.

Last week, 26-year-old Vijay Kumar of Rajasthan and the manager at Ellaqua Dehati Bank (EDB) at Kulgam, was shot dead in his office. The killing was the latest in a series of targeted attacks on minorities and non-locals in Kashmir.

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The demand has come at a time when Kashmiri Pandits employees are up in arms seeking relocation out of Kashmir.

The JFGBU — the umbrella organization of six recognized unions of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) — said the workforce of Ellaquai Dehati Bank who were from outside the Valley were in distress after the killing of Kumar.

“It has come to our notice that the parent banks, State Bank of India as well as IBA, have issued a statement ensuring full protection and extending support to the bereaved family… Nor has the bereaved family been given any financial support,” the Forum said.

The JFGBU urged the Finance Minister to take effective steps to provide the healing touch to the bereaved family by way of providing Rs 10 crore in financial relief as the family has lost the sole bread earner.

In wake of the target killings, JFGBU suggested that the branches should be provided with armed guards to protect the customers as well as staff members.

“We further demand that employees belonging to other states or outside the valley should be immediately shifted/relocated outside the volatile region to restrict any further bloodshed,” it said.

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