Chaos as peo­ple rush to dump worth­less notes Trump meets Obama as protests erupt across US

CUR­RENCY FRENZY

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Mahua Venkatesh and Beena Par­mar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Peo­ple queue up out­side a bank at Ghatkopar. As­so­ci­ated Press let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Winding queues of an­gry and pan­ick­ing cus­tomers formed out­side banks and post of­fices across In­dia on Thurs­day, as mil­lions of peo­ple tried to ex­change ban­knotes the govern­ment abruptly pulled out of cir­cu­la­tion in a crack­down on “black money”.

At places, banks called in po­lice or closed down for the day to cope with the crush of cus­tomers. Scenes of chaos and brawl­ing were re­ported from all over the coun­try, in­di­cat­ing the au­thor­i­ties were prob­a­bly un­der­pre­pared for the cur­rency switch Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi an­nounced on Tues­day.

Some banks opened late, stag­gered the en­try of cus­tomers or ran out of cash within hours. Fil­ing forms and other for­mal­i­ties for an ex­change led to longer queues and pa­tience run­ning thin.

Peo­ple have un­til De­cem­ber 30 to de­posit or ex­change their worth­less 500-and 1000-ru­pee notes for smaller bills or the new 2000-ru­pee note that is ex­pected to make coun­ter­feit­ing harder.

State-run banks saw an av­er­age of 3,00,000-4,00,000 trans­ac­tions to ex­change banned notes, govern­ment sources said. No con­sol­i­dated fig­ures were avail­able for de­posits. Trans­ac­tions were also said to be brisk at pri­vate banks.

In a cor­dial be­gin­ning to the trans­fer of power, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump met at the White House Thurs­day. Obama called the 90-minute meet­ing “ex­cel­lent,” and his suc­ces­sor said he looked for­ward to re­ceiv­ing the out­go­ing pres­i­dent’s “coun­sel.” Af­ter­ward, Obama said to Trump, “We now are go­ing to want to do ev­ery­thing we can to help you suc­ceed be­cause if you suc­ceed the coun­try suc­ceeds.”

The two men, who have been harshly crit­i­cal of each other for years, were meet­ing for the first time, Trump said.

Mean­while, from New York to Los An­ge­les, thou­sands ral­lied Out­go­ing US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama (right) met Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump at the White House on Thurs­day. against the pres­i­dent-elect, some car­ry­ing signs de­claim­ing “Not our Pres­i­dent”.

ARIJIT SEN/HT

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