Three account holders of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank have died in Mumbai in the last 24 hours, amid a crisis at the bank, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The Enforcement Directorate is looking into allegations that the bank did not report all non-performing assets, or bad loans, after providing funds to a number of companies.
Two of the three deaths were due to heart attacks as relatives of the deceased said they were under “severe stress”, and another depositor allegedly committed suicide. Former Jet Airways employee Sanjay Gulati, 51, died on Monday night, 52-year-old Fatommal Punjabi died of a heart attack after he collapsed in his shop at Sindhi Colony in the Mumbai’s Mulund area on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr Yogita Bijlani, who moved to Mumbai from the United States last year, allegedly committed suicide. According to reports in PTI and Mint, the woman’s name is Dr Nivedita Bijlani. Bijlani allegedly overdosed on sleeping pills at her home in Versova locality on Monday evening. She is said to have deposits of more than Rs 1 crore in PMC Bank.
“The cause of the suicide is yet to be ascertained,” an unidentified police officer told PTI. “She had an account in PMC Bank but we don’t think it (death) was related to the crisis in the bank.”
Sanjay Gulati, who died on Monday evening soon after he had attended a protest march outside a city court, was laid off earlier this year after Jet Airways was grounded. “He had accounts only in PMC Bank, all his money was there,” Gulati’s father said. Gulati was also under tremendous financial pressure as he required money regularly for the treatment of his specially-abled child.
Fatommal Punjabi had reportedly suffered losses in his business and his wife and son-in-law had died a few months apart earlier this year. His family friend, KT Tyagnani, said that he was worried about his business due to the upcoming Diwali season.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said he would ask the Centre to resolve the PMC Bank crisis after the Assembly elections in the state, which are scheduled for October 21. The RBI had, last month, imposed curbs on the bank, saying that depositors would not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1,000 from the bank for six months.
The central bank also said PMC Bank would not be allowed to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds. The withdrawal limit was raised to Rs 25,000, and on Monday, it raised it to Rs 40,000.