Another PMC Bank Account Holder Dies of Heart Attack in Mumbai, Second Death in 24 Hours

Mumbai: Another account holder of the troubled Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, Fattomal Punjabi, died of a heart attack on Tuesday. This is the second such death of a depositor with the bank within 24 hours.

Punjabi, who had an account with the PMC bank's Mulund branch, had taken part in protests in the last few days and had confided in friends about financial troubles he was facing because of the curbs placed on withdrawals by the Reserve Bank of India.

Earlier, on Monday, one Sanjay Gulati of Oshiwara in Mumbai had died of a heart attack after being unable to withdraw his life savings of Rs 90 lakh from the bank.

The PMC Bank has been placed under "directions" by the RBI since last month, wherein depositors' withdrawals have been capped. The limits were increased to Rs 40,000 by the RBI on Monday, and the central bank said 77 per cent of the customers will be able to fully withdraw their deposits with this move.

The curbs on withdrawals have been in effect since three weeks now when fraud in loans at the bank was detected and the depositors say they are running out of options now. The increase in withdrawal limits, they say, is not sufficient.

Another PMC account holder Sachi Pestonji, an acquaintance of Gulati, has warned that this may just be the beginning of tragedies.

Harried 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 when she was out to address a pre-election media conference here.

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.