Banks refuse to accept coins in Kanpur, traders blame PM 

Kanpur traders, who put up posters equating PM Narendra Modi with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, have been booked by police for airing grievances related to surplus coins

NH Photo
NH Photo

NH Web Desk

Kanpur police have slapped criminal cases against 22 traders for putting up hoardings and posters equating Prime Minister Narendra Modi with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Police also arrested Praveen Kumar, a resident of Sharda Nagar, on Thursday for having put up the posters. According to unconfirmed reports he happens to be a labourer hired by the traders for the job. The FIR has been registered under section 32 (3) of UP Special Powers Act, section 153A and section 505 of IPC, police said.

The hoardings and posters featured a photograph of Kim Jong-un on one side declaring “I’ll annihilate the world” and a photograph of PM Modi on other the side saying, “I will annihilate traders and businesses”.

Banks refuse to accept coins in Kanpur, traders blame PM 

The posters also asked the Prime Minister to explain, if necessary on his radio talk Mann Ki Baat, where people could possibly use coins. A cloth banner reading, “ Helplessness of Traders: …We are traders, we too have a right to life and sustain our families” was also taken down by the police and municipal workers along with the posters and hoardings.

Refusal by banks to deposit or exchange currency notes for coins, traders complain, have led to a piquant situation. Since banks say they have no storage left for coins, even commercial outlets have ceased accepting coins in Kanpur, the traders claim. Coming in the wake of Demonetisation and GST, the unofficial embargo on coins, they say, have brought them on their knees.

“We are into confectionery business. We get payments in coins. Small businessmen and traders in the district have coins amounting to over ₹ 200 crore,” said Raju Khanna, a Kanpur trader who has also been booked by the police told National Herald. “The banks have refused to exchange or deposit coins citing lack of chests.”

“Before installing hoardings and banners we gave written representations to the DM, bank officials and got our issues highlighted through newspapers but to no avail. What would we have done when our business is dying? We live in a democracy which is why we put up posters and banners to stage our protest,” said another trader, pleading anonymity, and added: “The way cases have been registered against us, it seems that dictatorship has been imposed in this country. No one can raise voice against the wrong policies of the government.”

Claiming that their employees too have been refusing to accept their salary in coins, he further said that “traders are exchanging coins at a loss of 20-25 per cent of their value to get currency notes to somehow keep the business going.”

Those traders—including confectioners, printing press owners, grocery shop owners and dairy owners—who used to have 30-40 employees before demonetisation, have only 10 or fewer workers to run their business, he added.

Gopal Sardana, president of Kirana Vyapar Mandal, said that several traders’ bodies had been planning agitations against government policies in the near future. “To mark our protest, we are going to dump coins en masse at the Gandhi statue in Phool Bagh,” he said.

Many of them would not celebrate Diwali next week, one of them added.

Other Kanpur residents too have been highlighting the issue where coins are not being accepted as currency. Taking to social media, the aggrieved residents have been highlighted the problem from time to time.

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