PMC scam: Another PMC depositor dies; had no funds for surgery

Updated: Oct 19, 2019, 07:32 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

83-year-old Mulund man had Rs 80 lakh frozen in scam-tainted bank, family could not raise money for his heart operation

Murlidhar Dharra (inset) and his son, Prem, at his funeral. Pic/Rajesh Gupta
Murlidhar Dharra (inset) and his son, Prem, at his funeral. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

An 83-year-old depositor of the troubled PMC Bank died on Friday, with his family claiming that it could not raise the money for his heart surgery, owing to restrictions on fund withdrawals. Murlidhar Dharra died at his home in Mulund on Friday, his son Prem said. The family had a total of Rs 80 lakh in deposits with the bank (which was placed under restrictions since September 24), he said."

"My father was a broken after hearing the news of all our funds being frozen at the bank. He was not eating well and consistently worrying about money. He suffered a heart attack a few days ago. When we took him to hospital, doctors told us that he needed a bypass surgery. We wrote to the branch manager of Mulund PMC Bank to release the funds for this purpose. But before we got their reply, my father died," Prem told mid-day.

Under RBI directions, exceptions can be made for medical emergencies. It was not known immediately whether the PMC Bank refused a request from the family under this provision.
Prem added, "Even after his death, I have to keep my shops open as I don't have money to perform his post death rituals. Many of my relatives are not happy about it, but I can't help it."

This is the fourth death of a depositor of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank after the RBI appointed an administrator for the bank. Two of the depositors died of cardiac arrest, while another, a woman doctor, allegedly committed suicide.

After an alleged R4,355 crore scam came to light at the bank, the RBI initially capped withdrawals at Rs 1,000 once in six months in view of liquidity crisis, and later hiked it to R40,000 in three moves. The depositors have been protesting over the past three weeks, seeking their money back.

On Tuesday, 51-year-old Sanjay Gulati, who had recently lost his job with Jet Airways when the airline was grounded, died of a heart attack hours after attending a depositors' protest. It was followed by the alleged suicide of Dr Nivedita Bijlani, and death of Mulund-resident Fatto Punjabi due to cardiac arrest.

Rs 80 lakh
The family's deposits in the bank

Inputs Anurag Kamble

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