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On a day when banks dedicated its services to senior citizens for exchange and deposit of demonetised currency notes, an 80-year-old woman died while waiting for her turn in a bank in Karnal.
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Kaushalya Devi, resident of Sector 16, Karnal, died of heart attack while standing in the queue. She was although rushed to the nearby private hospital, but the doctors declared her dead on arrival.
The incident took place at Central Bank of India branch at Chaura Bazaar in Karnal. As the bank opened today, hundreds of account holders thronged its small premises, resulting into a stampede-like situation. Kaushalya Devi also stood in the queue. Her son Shivraj Sharma was accompanying her.
“It is a small space. Since there were hundreds of people queued up, it was extremely suffocating inside. I requested the bank staff to attend to her [Kaushalya Devi] since she had been standing in the queue for long. She was referred to the cashier. She collapsed in the cashier’s room,” Shivraj said.
According to the bank officials, she was semi-conscious when taken to the hospital.
Karnal’s Deputy Commissioner Mandeep Brar confirmed the incident. He said there were several complaints from people today about shortage of cash in banks. “We made requests to the state government and the RBI and have received sufficient cash for all the banks this evening. ATM machines have been re-filled so people will have no problem tomorrow,” Mandeep Brar told The Indian Express.
A bank officer, requesting anonymity, said Kaushalya Devi had visited the bank to get her pensioner’s certificate.
Although the day was reserved for senior citizens, people of all the age groups reached the bank, forcing the staff to accommodate all of them. Separate queues were formed for senior citizens.
Shivraj alleged that besides her pensioner’s certificate, she also had to exchange currency notes. One of the eye-witnesses, Manju Sharma, said, “The government has not done any good to us. Old-age people have been made to stand in the queues. People who do not have anything to eat are being forced to withdraw Rs 2,000 currency note. What do they do with it? Even if somebody wants to make a purchase for Rs 100, nobody gives the balance Rs 1,900 as the currency is not available. It is the loss for common people”.