SRINAGAR: Unidentified gunmen robbed two banks on Wednesday in the Indian-held Kashmir. Three masked gunmen barged into a branch of Elaquai Dehati Bank in Wahibugh village of Pulwama district, some 30 km south of Srinagar city, at around 2pm on Wednesday and looted INR 550,000. The bank officials didn’t put up any resistance and handed over the cash to them, Indian police said. Two hours later, masked gunmen appeared in the adjoining Kakpora village where they looted INR 130,000 from a branch of the same bank. Police and government agencies are seeing the role of separatists in the twin heists. However, no militant outfit has claimed responsibility in this regard. “It is a disturbing new trend which opens another window of challenge for armed forces involved in counter insurgency operations in Kashmir. But we will deal with it firmly. Banks may be asked to step up their security,” seeking anonymity, a police officer said. According to officials, more than 80 young people joined militant groups in the aftermath of Burhan’s killing who relied on the tactic of snatching weapons from armed forces that earned them a ticket of credibility for entry into the militant ranks but bank robberies by mysterious gunmen haven’t been reported during this period. On Tuesday, suspected militants barged into a police post guarding the District Court Complex in Shopian district and snatched five rifles from policemen who apparently did not resist, a day after five policemen and two bank employees were killed in a deadly attack by militants in Kulgam. “The cops handed over their weapons without any fight. Not a single bullet was fired. We have filed a case and the policemen involved in the incident have been put under suspension pending an inquiry that will determine the circumstances of the incident,” a police officer said, wishing anonymity. Earlier, in March, four rifles were snatched from the cops deployed at the ancestral home of J&K minister Farooq Andrabi who is the uncle of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. According to official data, since Burhan Wani’s killing, nearly 100 weapons including AK-47, INSAS, Carbine, SLR and .303 rifles have been snatched from forces personnel.