Demonetisation: Over 33 deaths reported across India after announcement of currency ban
A week after PM Modi announced that the Centre will be banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, at least 33 people have been reported dead in demonetisation-related incidents. In most cases, elderly people have collapsed and died of heart attack as a result of standing in long queues outside ATMs and banks to exchange demonetised currency notes.
A week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will be banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, at least 33 people have been reported dead in demonetisation-related incidents, according to Huffington Post.
As soon as the announcement was made on 8 November, a Faizabad-based businessman started feeling chest pain and died soon thereafter due to the shock, added the report.
Although the move is meant to flush out black money and put a leash on corruption, the unexpected announcement has caused a lot of inconvenience and panic among citizens across the country. There are reports of senior citizens collapsing and dying of heart attack as a result of standing in long queues outside ATMs and banks to exchange demonetised currency notes.
A 70-year-old man standing in a queue outside a bank in Maharashtra's Nanded district died on Wednesday, reported PTI.
Digambar Mariba Kasbe, who was standing outside a branch of the State Bank of India at Tuppa, collapsed and died, they said. His body has been taken to Vishnupuri hospital for post-mortem.
According to reports, a 73-year-old man died of heart attack in Mulund, and a 48-year-old man fell from the second floor of a bank in Kerala while trying to deposit old notes on Friday.
All ATMs were shut for two days last week to help banks reload cash. However, not enough cash was available when the ATMs and banks opened after two days as many of the cash vending machines were not functioning. And the cash in few ATMs exhausted soon unable to meet the demands, PTI reported.
Some banks, however, distributed only Rs 100 denomination notes and the queues outside such banks got significantly longer due to easy exchangeability of Rs 100 notes at various shops and commercial establishments.
A farmer, 47, from Tarapur town in Ahmedabad had died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack while standing in a queue for over two hours outside a local bank.
A 69-year-old man, who was standing in a queue in Limbdi town of Surendranagar district in Gujarat, died due to a heart attack on Sunday.
Men and women stood in serpentine queues for hours to exchange or deposit their spiked notes with new ones or withdraw cash to meet their daily expenses.
Some of them were successful and many others lost patience when they couldn't get any money. There was no respite from the chaos at banks. The security personnel had a tough time controlling crowds.
Lakshminarayana, 75, from Andhra Pradesh collapsed while waiting in a long queue for over two hours at an Andhra Bank branch in Marredpally in Secunderabad.
A teenage son of a Border Security Force officer in Bulandshahr allegedly committed suicide over not possessing smaller denomination notes on Tuesday, reported PTI.
A class 12 student of Jaypee Vidyapeeth, Sumit, was found hanging from the ceiling at his house in Anoopshahr area on Tuesday. He had asked his mother to give him smaller denomination notes, but she refused him as she herself was running out of cash, police said.
Chaotic scenes and seemingly never-ending queues could still be seen outside banks and ATMs as people hustled to get valid currency notes for meeting their daily expenses.
Adding to the customer woes, there have been reports of bank servers facing technical glitches.
It may take two more weeks before ATMs start dispensing new high-value Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. Currently, they are mainly dispensing Rs 100 notes.
More and more people across the country are complaining about problems with regard to their daily basic needs as local stores have stopped lending goods and other essential items on credit.
The ongoing chaos has even led to law and order problems in parts of the country. Over a hundred people were booked for pelting stones and clashing with the employees of a bank in Sujru village in Uttar Pradesh over exchanging of old currency notes.
Grappling with unending queues and frayed tempers in banks and to check the operation of syndicates, the government on Tuesday decided to introduce a system of marking customers exchanging defunct currency notes with indelible ink from today onwards in major metro cities.
With inputs from agencies
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