The historic step of the Centre to ban old high-value currency notes in a bid to combat corruption and black money has brought some bad news in its wake. 25 people have been reported dead in several parts of the nation due to demonetisation drive within a span of a week, the real number could be more. Some of these unfortunate people died standing in queues, others when some medical shops, hospitals and local vendors refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
In a tragic incident, a child died in the Bulandshahr branch of Kailash hospital, owned by union culture and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma, as his parents had only old currency notes and the hospital administration allegedly wanted him to deposit an advance of Rs 10,000, reported The Huffington Post. Another major case reported from Surat (Gujarat) where a 50-year-old woman committed suicide. The mother of two was not able to buy ration to feed her family because the ration shops refused to accept old currency notes.
There have been other cases of businessman dying out of chest pain just by hearing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s November 8 speech where he announced the government’s demonetisation plan of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.In one such incident, a young man died of heart attack in Kanpur. The man had received Rs 70 lakhs in advance for selling his land just the previous day of the announcement. He had been trying to sell his land for months.
A 55-year-old woman in Mahububabad district of Telangana known as Kandukuri Vinoda who had saved an amount of Rs 54 lakh committed suicide because she thought the money that she had saved for various reasons was worthless all of a sudden. The saga of deaths surrounding this demonetisation doesn’t stop here.
A washerwoman of Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh died out of shock when she came to know that these were no longer legal tender. The situation grows much worse in Howrah district of West Bengal where a man murdered his wife because she returned empty handed from the ATM.
Cases of death related dowry have also been reported as a 45-year-old man from Kaimur in Bihar have died because he thought that the Rs 35,000 he had saved will no longer be accepted by the in-laws of his daughter.
As per reports of the Indian Express, Karthikeyan, 72, a native of Harippadu in Alappuzha district, collapsed and died in front of a State Bank of Travancore (SBT) branch after standing in queue for several hours since Friday morning. He was taken to a nearby hospital but could not be saved, the police said.
Meanwhile, the release of films in the state has been postponed until the currency crisis is over. Sales of lottery tickets and liquor, the main sources of tax revenue for state government, have come down drastically.