In yet another tragedy arising from troubles at the crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, an 83-year-old depositor of the crippled cooperative lender died on Friday, which the family attributed to their inability to arrange for funds to pay for a critical heart surgery.
The victim, Murlidhar Dharra, had as much as Rs 80 lakh in deposits with the PMC Bank but could not withdraw the money due to the RBI curbs.
This is the fourth such instance of death of depositors of PMC Bank following RBI restrictions, including limits on cash withdrawals at Rs. 40,000 per depositor.
Dharra died at his home in suburban Mulund earlier in the day for want of an urgent heart surgery, his son Prem told PTI.
The family had Rs. 80 lakh deposits in the bank, which has been placed under restrictions since September 23, and the family was unable to arrange the required resources for a heart surgery which doctors had recommended for Dharra, his son said.
It is to be noted that under the RBI directions, exceptions can be made for medical emergencies, but it is not known immediately whether the bank refused a request from the family.
Earlier on Monday, 51-year-old Sanjay Gulati, an ex-employee of Jet Airways, died due to a heart attack hours after attending a protest march.
Gulati had a deposit of over Rs 90 lakh with the troubled PMC bank.
Gulati, a resident of suburban Oshiwara, went to a protest march with his 80-year-old father. held outside a city court on Monday morning and had been under stress because of his deposit being stuck, said one of the agitating customers.
He died due to a heart attack while having dinner on Monday, a senior official at the Oshiwara police station was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Gulati lost his job after the grounding of Jet Airways and is survived by a specially-abled son, who requires regular medical treatment.
Less than 24 hours after Sanjay Gulati died of cardiac arrest, another PMC Bank customer Fattomal Punjabi also died due to heart attack, news agency ANI had reported.
In another case, Dr Nivedita Bijlani (39) allegedly ended her life by taking overdose of sleeping pills at her residence in suburban Versova late Monday evening, PTI reported. She is said to have deposits of over ₹1 crore with PMC Bank. The police, however, has denied any link of the PMC Bank issue with her suicide.
After finding certain irregularities in the PMC Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred the bank from carrying out almost all its routine banking activities for six months.
The withdrawal limit was earlier set at Rs 1,000 and was raised gradually to Rs 40,000 after protests.
Distressed depositors of the bank, which has deposits of over Rs 11,000 crore, have been protesting across the city and also forced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to meet them last week.
The bank has come on the regulatory radar after Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd and its directors failed to repay a Rs 4,355 crore loan taken from PMC Bank putting the bank under liquidity stress.
Four people, including promoters of realty firm HDIL to which the bank made the sour loans, and the lender’s former chairman and ex-managing director have so far been arrested in connection with the alleged Rs 4,355 crore scam.