Agitation for carving out a separate State of Telangana might not be vocal at this point of time and the leaders lying low, but they have found a new channel of spreading the demand by marking currency notes with ‘Jai Telangana' both in Telugu and English.
Writing in the white space – watermark window – is punishable under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949. But, the people supporting the demand seem to be not bothered about the punishment and were using currency notes as permanent pamphlets.
A few such currency notes have made way into the system in Coastal Andhra too and a Rs.20 note was passed on by a vendor in Vijayawada recently. A Reserve Bank of India directive as part of its Clean Notes policy had said that: Banks shall do away with stapling of fresh, re-issuable, non-issuable note packets and instead secure them with paper bands; banks shall sort notes into issuables and non-issuables and issue only clean notes to public.
Banks are supposed to tender soiled notes in unstapled condition to Reserve Bank of India in inward remittances through currency chests as per the directive, but many banks do not accept soiled notes.
Banks have been asked to forthwith stop writing of any kind on watermark window of bank notes.
People are scared to accept such notes now as they fear these notes may not be exchanged at the banks and they could be branded pro-Telangana in Andhra region.
Keywords: Telangana movement