Unable to stand in a long queue for the second day in front of a bank to exchange the banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, a 73- year old Vishwas Vartak died of heart attack in Hari Om Nagar in Mulund on Friday, reflecting long queues all over Mumbai from Lalbaugh, Parel, Dadar, Andheri, Ghatkopar to Mulund.
In many places people returned empty-handed as were found to be out of service and not dispensing money, forcing people to return empty-handed.anks ran out of cash.
In another incident, a 48-year-old man, who came to deposit Rs. 5 lakh worth notes in a bank in Thalassery, Kerala, too died after he fell down from the second floor of the State Bank of Travancore’s branch on Friday.
It was learnt that his name was Unni and he was an employee of Kerala State Electricity Board. It was his second day of visit to the bank after returned unable to deposit the amount on Thursday, the day one when exchange of notes began in the country.
The Modi government has demonetised of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on Tuesday night to wipe out black money, counterfeit currency, corruption and terror financing and the banks were shut down on Wednesday creating panic on Thursday that continued on Friday as well.
ATMs were anyway shut down on Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday few of them were opened in Delhi, Mumbai and in some major cities not reaching the rural end users who were badly hurt over the cash crunch faced in the country.
Another tragedy is that many banks were giving Rs 4,000 in exchange which has further led to harassment as the notes were not being accepted by vendors, traders and shopkeepers who had no change or Rs.100 notes.
Many bank branches and ATMs have seen long queues with people standing or squatting on the ground in front of the banks even before they were opened on Friday.
Highlighting the woes of the common man, Opposition Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi joined the big queue in front of the SBI Parliament Street Branch drawing the attention of the otherwise reluctant media TV channels to highlight the non-availability of new currency notes.
When asked by the media, Rahul Gandhi blurted out saying, “You don’t bother about the comman man’s woes nor your crorepati owners. I am here with the poor people who are facing currency crunch and you see that no suit-boot person is in the queue. It means only the poor and middle class have been victims of move.”