"30 out of 41 branches of the SBI have re-opened their offices," West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said on Thursday.

The re-opening followed an assurance from the state government to adequately address the grievances of bank employees, especially of those whose branches were located in remote areas prone to militant attacks, he said.

The banks were closed since August 12 in protest against the abduction of an employee Subod Kumar on August 5 from Gasuapara in South Garo Hills and also a branch manager in the South West Garo Hills.

While both were released later, the morale of bank employees in the region had gone down in the wake of heightened insurgency operations and problems.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma deputed Power Minister Clement Marak to review and discuss issues faced by bank employees including security and functioning of the banks.

Marak presided over a three-day review meeting to discuss the issues in view of the prevalent law and order situation in the region with the district administration and bank employees.

The closure of banks had also jolted the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yajna (PMJDY) in the region after which the state government requested the banks to re-open the branches for smooth implementation of the scheme.

According to Bakshi, bank employees demanded security of the branches, besides police escorts for the to and fro movement of officials and cash.

Bank authorities also explained that cash remittance would be affected since cash had to be collected from the Regional Bank of India branch in Guwahati and transported to Tura, over 200 km away, the DC said, adding, they have also requested that at least two armed police personnel be sent to the branches to liaise with the bank security guards.

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