The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) on Tuesday met with anxious depositors of the scam-hit PMC Bank and reportedly assured them that their money was safe. During the meeting, the central bank discussed the 19-points raised by the depositors, who have given time to the RBI till October 28 to act. After the RBI clamped down the operations of the PMC Bank, the woes of its depositors have worsened with some of them unable to pay the school fees of their children. People are also finding it quite difficult to meet their medical expenses.
Earlier in the day, the depositors held protests At Azad Maidan in Mumbai. They raised slogans and demanded that the government must return their hard-earned money. "We are fighting for financial freedom here. The government should address our issues. We want our money back," said a protester.
"16 lakh families for the past one month have been requesting the government to give our money back and help us. Six people have died and one girl has committed suicide but the government is not taking us seriously. The government can take decisions overnight. The decision to cut the Aarey forest was taken overnight. The RBI officials should also be punished as they were auditing regularly and this scam has been happening over a period of 10 months," said another.
So far, at least five PMC Bank depositors, who had big savings with the fraud-hit lender, has died. While a lady doctor committed suicide, four others died of cardiac arrests. On Sunday, another innocent life was lost as 73-year-old Bharati Sadarangani, whose daughter and son-in-low had deposited huge savings in the bank, died due to cardiac arrest in Maharashtra’s Solapur.
Earlier last week, an 83-year-old depositor died of heart attack on Friday after his family failed to arrange funds for his surgery. The diseased, identified as Murlidhar Dharra, had Rs 80 lakh in deposits with the PMC bank but could not withdraw the money due to the Reserve Bank's curb.
The spate of deaths started with the death of the 51-year-old Sumeet Gulati on Tuesday, who had lost his job with Jet Airways after the airline was grounded, hours after attending a depositors’ protest, which was followed by the alleged suicide of Nivedita Jagtiani and then another Mulund resident, Fatto Punjabi. All the depositors who died had high amount of money stuck in the bank, in the region of over Rs 80 lakh each.
The RBI said there was financial mismanagement at the bank in connivance with realty player HDIL, which was hidden from it for long. The city police claimed it is a Rs 4,355-crore scam and arrested five people in connection of the same, including the bank chairman, the managing director, and the promoters of HDIL.