A day after a Delhi court granted bail to 26-year-old cash van custodian Mohammad Isha, accused of inserting fake notes with the title ‘Children Bank of India’ into an SBI ATM in Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, another such case has come to light — but this time from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. In the new case, a primary school teacher allegedly received a fake Rs 2,000 note from a Punjab National Bank ATM in Meerut. Speaking to The Indian Express, the teacher, Sunil Dutt Sharma, said he had submitted the note to the bank branch in Meerut. This, even as the accused in the first case alleged he was beaten up in police custody.
“I had withdrawn five Rs 2,000 notes from an ATM and the single fake note came to my notice a day later. I first contacted the bank on phone and later went personally to submit an application,” he said. In the application, Sharma said he had withdrawn the money on February 24. The first case had come to light on February 6, when the SBI ATM dispensed five Rs 2,000 fake notes with ‘Children Bank of India’ and ‘Churan Lable’ written on them. Police initially called in Isha for questioning and detained him, before allowing him to go home. Isha even got back to his job at the cash management company, Brinks Arya, before he was arrested on February 23.
While arresting him, DCP (southeast) Romil Baaniya had claimed Isha had inserted the notes “on a trial basis” and was “planning something big”. Speaking to The Indian Express after coming out of jail on bail, Isha said the incident has tainted his career and given him a “bad name”. He claimed that though he worked for 13 days after he was initially allowed to go home by police, his job has been terminated. Isha also claimed he cooperated with police, but was arrested “just because I had inserted the money”. “Even though one of my colleagues was there with me, I was arrested,” he said.
Isha said that he was questioned on the night of February 6 after the incident. “The next day, I and some policemen went to the three ATMs where I had inserted cash, but there wasn’t any fake note. Even then, police did not trust me and on February 7 night, I was beaten up and they kept asking me if the notes were mine. All I said was that I had no clue,” he alleged. He added that he will look for a new job, but vowed never to handle cash. “I hope Delhi Police catch the real culprit,” he said. Baaniya said he was aware of reports of similar notes being dispensed elsewhere. On Isha’s allegations of torture, he said, “It is unfortunate if it has happened.”