Around 50 PMC Bank Customers Stage Protest Outside RBI
Around 50 depositories of the fraud-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank staged a protest outside the Reserve Bank of India demanding revoking restrictions on cash withdrawal, currently capped at Rs 40,000 over a six-month period.
The protesters marched from Patel Chowk to Reserve Bank of India protesting against the suspension of banking operation since Sept. 24.
According to police, the PMC bank depositors had gathered in front of the RBI. However, they were told to disperse since it was an unauthorised area to protest.
The bank has been put under restrictions by the RBI after an alleged fraud of Rs 4,355 crore came to light following which the deposit withdrawal was initially capped at Rs 1,000, causing panic and distress among depositors.
Subsequently, it was raised to Rs 10,000 and to Rs 40,000 earlier this week by the RBI.
A depositor of the bank allegedly committed suicide in Mumbai, while another died of a heart attack a few hours after taking part in a protest by bank customers seeking their money back.
The national capital which also has branches of the PMC bank has seen protests by bank customers in the last few days.
"It was a peaceful protest. We marched from Patel Chowk to RBI and submitted our appeal to an RBI officer", said Bhomika Sethi, a PMC depositor with the Amar Colony branch since last eight years.
"Three bank depositors lost their lives. We call them our warriors and we will continue to fight," the protester said.
A human resource professional, Sethi said savings of her retired parents are also in the bank.
MA Chaudhary, another depositor, said it is difficult to survive with the cap of Rs 40,000 and that it should be raised.
A businessman, Chaudhary said he has over Rs 50 lakhs in his savings and current accounts in the bank. He has been dealing with the bank since last five years.
"I want my money back. The withdrawal limit is Rs 40,000 for six months. How can one even survive with such limitations? We are not begging. It is our money after all," said Chaudhary, adding that his cheque for electricity bill payment was bounced after the RBI placed restrictions on the bank.
Siddharth Dogra, another protestor, demanded that depositors money should be returned to them at the earliest.
"We want the government to return our money. We have paid our taxes. It is our hard earned money. I have almost Rs 70 lakh rupees deposited in my bank account," said Siddharth Dogra, another PMC depositor.