A few days ago, photos showing shredded currency notes at an ATM did the rounds of WhatsApp. The pictures showed an open ATM kiosk with notes torn to shreds. Such was the condition that the denominations could only be speculated from the colour of the notes in the pictures. And they were mostly pink.

It has now emerged that the photos were from a State Bank of India ATM kiosk in Assam’s Tinsukia. Indeed the currency notes, worth around Rs 12 lakh, had been reduced to nothing but bits of paper.

Who did this? SBI officials claim the culprits are the mice who had made the ATM kiosk located in Laipuli area their home.

According to a report in The Indian Express, SBI officials claim that the mice munched on the notes in the kiosk that had been shut since 20 May due to a snag.

The devastation was discovered when a team of repairmen arrived on 11 June to kick the machine back to life. When they opened it, they found nothing but heaps of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes shredded into tiny pieces.

The ATM had been refilled with Rs 29 lakh on 19 May by FIS: Global Business Solutions, the company which runs it. The very next day, it stopped functioning.

The bank officials said notes worth Rs 12,38,000 had been destroyed by the mice, while around Rs 17 lakh could be salvaged.

An FIR has been lodged by the government lender. Many are questioning why the ATM had been allowed to remain out of service for such a long time.