Mumbai: PMC Bank account holders protest at RBI office

Gargi Verma
At a protest outside RBI in Mumbai on Saturday. (Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar)

SEVERAL PUNJAB and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank account holders on Saturday staged a protest at the RBI office in Mumbai, demanding a written assurance from the authorities that they would get their money back.

“We had opened our accounts here because the RBI had given the bank an ‘A’ rating during its audit. They are equally responsible for the scam. Now, they are denying us our hard earned money,” said Manjul Tarange, a protester.

“Despite having made smart investments and paying taxes, we have trouble finding money for food and medicines now,” he added. The protesters marched from the RBI to the Asiatic Society.

Consoling a protester who broke down, Tanisha Jain — who maintained that she had Rs 7.6 lakh in PMC Bank’s Nerul branch — said: “Her son has got admission to study medicine but since her money is stuck in PMC Bank, she is unable to pay his fees. How will she pay his fees?”

A senior citizen and 30-year-old Thane resident Krupali Shinde had to be admitted at St George Hospital after they fell ill during the protest.

Both were later discharged, sources said.

“She was standing for hours and complained of dizziness before fainting,” said a friend of Shinde who had accompanied her.

The senior citizen, who couldn’t be identified, was helped by fellow protesters and police personnel deployed in front of the RBI building.

On Saturday, 70-year-old Mulund resident Ram Arora, who was also a PMC Bank account holder, died in his house. The family, however, claimed that it was a case of natural death. “He was not dependent only on the PMC Bank account. It is a case of natural death, not connected to the bank scam,” a family friend requesting anonymity said.

Since October 15, four PMC Bank account holders, including an 80-year-old man, had died allegedly due to stress.

In September, RBI had imposed restrictions against the bank for various irregularities, including Rs 6,200 crore stuck with the HDIL group promoted by the Wadhawans.