One PMC bank depositor commits suicide, another dies of cardiac arrest

Updated: Oct 16, 2019, 07:30 IST | Gaurav Sarkar, Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Day after an ex-Jet Airways engineer died of a heart attack, a Mulund man dies of cardiac arrest; Versova woman, said to have Rs 1 crore in the bank and already suffering from depression, commits suicide

Fattomal Panjabi and Sanjay Gulati
Fattomal Panjabi and Sanjay Gulati

Despite numerous protests, there seems to be no respite in sight for Punjab Maharashtra Co-Operative (PMC) Bank's account holders. On Tuesday, Fattomal Punjabi, 61, a Mulund resident, died of cardiac arrest while on his way to the bank. Police said on Tuesday that a depressed account holder, Dr Nivedita Bijlani, 39, killed herself by consuming sleeping pills on Monday night. Sanjay Gulati, 51, an Oshiwara resident and a former pilot, had died of a heart attack on Monday.

Gulati, a former Jet Airways employee, had over Rs 90 lakh with the bank. For the last couple of days, Gulati had been attending various protests in the city. On Monday morning, after attending one such protest outside a city court along with his 80-year-old father, Gulati returned home, where he suffered a cardiac arrest at dinner time, said a senior officer at Oshiwara police station. He was rushed to Kokilaben Hospital by his wife Megha and a couple of friends, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

'Tremendous stress'

Speaking to mid-day, Gulati's brother-in-law, Ashok Narula, said, "He [Gulati] had been a little shaken up and anxious after Monday's protest... his death was very sudden." Narula explained that Gulati had been under "tremendous pressure" after first losing his job as an engineer with Jet Airways, and then being at the receiving end of the PMC Bank crisis.

Both Sanjay Gulati and Fattomal Panjabi used to participate in protests against the PMC Bank (PIC/PTI)
Both Sanjay Gulati and Fattomal Panjabi used to participate in protests against the PMC Bank (PIC/PTI)

"It wasn't just his own life savings that was deposited in PMC Bank. His entire family had all their savings in the bank," Narula said. "When a salaried person loses his job, he might be able to pick up the pieces and move on. He did express the stress he was under but not very openly. But we all knew what he was going through," he added.

'Jolly person'

On Tuesday, the second distressed account-holder died. Fattomal Punjabi, 61, a resident of Mulund Colony, suffered a cardiac arrest at 12.30 pm when he left from home to visit the bank. He was taken to the nearby Gokul Hopsital, but was declared dead on arrival.

Vinod Ramchandani, Fattomal's lifelong friend who described him as a "younger brother", said, "We used to hang out every day. He was a jolly person and demeanour was such that even in a crowd of 500 people, he would stand out."

According to Ramchandani, Fattomal had around R3 lakh in Mulund's PMC Bank branch. "Everyone has blown his death out of proportion. Yes, he was tense but not specifically stressed or under pressure because of the PMC Bank crisis. His death was natural." Fattomal, a widower, was a regular face in the ongoing protests against the bank, just like Gulati. He is survived by his 32-year-old son Vikas and a 38-year-old daughter, Geeta Vishwani.

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