In the past week since the central government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in a bid to weed out black money, 33 deaths have been reported across the country that can be directly or indirectly linked to the sudden demonetisation move. While a few deaths have been out of shock, as alleged by the families of the deceased, some deaths are claimed to be owing to exhaustion after standing for long hours in serpentine queues. There have also been reports of suicide and even a murder over demonetisation in West Bengal.
On Wednesday, too, chaotic scenes and long queues were seen outside banks and ATMs across the country as people rushed to withdraw or exchange notes to pay their every day bills.
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Here is a list of the reported deaths since the demonetisation was announced:
1. Four days before his daughter’s wedding, Sukhdev Singh died of a heart attack in Tarn Taran, Punjab, as he was unable to buy groceries and other items due to shortage of new currency notes.
2. A 17-year-old BSF Jawan’s son committed suicide in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, after his mother refused to give him smaller value notes.
3. A two-year-old died in Sambhalpur, Odisha, after an autorickshaw driver refused to take the family to hospital as they did not have lower denomination notes to pay the fare.
4. Lakshminarayana, 75, collapsed and was declared dead while waiting in a queue for over two hours outside a bank in Secunderabad, Telangana.
5. Surendra Sharma, a senior citizen from Aurangabad, Bihar, died while waiting in a bank queue.
6. Halke Lodhi, a farmer in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, committed suicide as he did not have money to buy fertilisers and seeds.
7. 60-year-old Aziz Ansari, a factory worker in Meerut, died of a heart attack while waiting outside a bank.
8. A retired school teacher, Raghunath Verma (70), in Jalaun, eastern Uttar Pradesh, died waiting outside a bank. He went to withdraw money for meeting the marriage expenses of his daughter.
9. In a Bulandshahr hospital, a child died because the parents had only old currency notes.
10. 24-year-old Rizwana from north-east Delhi hanged herself as she was upset about not being able to exchange currency for three days.
11. Unable to buy groceries to feed her family, a 50-year-old Surat woman committed suicide.
12. Shabana, a 20-year-old woman from Shamli (west UP), committed suicide after her brother returned home without exchanging currency notes.
13. A middle-aged woman from Chikballapur district of Karnataka committed suicide after the Rs 15,000 she had taken to the bank for exchange were allegedly lost or stolen.
14. A farmer from Raigarh, Chhattisgarh committed suicide as he was upset over not being able to exchange Rs 3,000, which he was supposed to send to his stranded children in Tamil Nadu.
15. A 69-year-old man collapsed and died of heart attack after waiting in a queue to exchange currency notes outside a bank in Limbdi, Gujarat.
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16. An elderly woman in Kanpur died while counting her notes.
17. A Kanpur man, who had received Rs 70 lakh in advance for selling his land, died of a heart attack while watching PM Narendra Modi’s speech announcing demonetisation.
18. In Mumbai, a sick newborn child died after a hospital refused admission as the parents didn’t have legal tender.
19. An 18-month-old baby died in Visakhapatnam as the parents didn’t have money to buy medicines after a private hospital had refused old currency notes.
20. A one-year-old boy suffering from high fever in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, died after doctors stopped treating him as his parents ran out of Rs 100 notes.
21. A newborn baby died in Rajasthan’s Pali district after an ambulance refused to take the child to a hospital as the father couldn’t arrange Rs 100 notes on time.
22. A 40-year-old washerwoman in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, died of shock on allegedly learning that banks “will not accept denominations of Rs 1000”.
23. A 55-year-old home-maker in Mahubabad district of Telangana, committed suicide because she thought her cash savings of Rs 54 lakh were now worthless.
24. A man from Howrah, West Bengal killed his wife after she came home empty-handed from an ATM.
25. A 45-year-old man from Kaimur district of Bihar died of a massive heart attack as he feared that his daughter’s would-be in-laws may no longer accept dowry in old currency notes.
26. A 45-year-old from Thalassery, Kerala died after falling from the second floor while filling the deposit slip. He had gone to deposit Rs 5 lakh.
27. A 72-year-old man from Mumbai died of a massive heart attack while waiting to deposit old currency notes at a bank.
28. A 47-year old-farmer, who had to pay for farm labour, died of heart attack while waiting to exchange old currency notes in Tarapur, Gujarat.
29. Having waited for an hour in a queue, a 75-year-old man in Alappuzha, Kerala collapsed and died outside a bank.
30. A 96-year-old man died waiting in a queue at a bank in Udupi, Karnataka, which was yet to open for the day.
31. A 69-year-old retired BSNL employee died waiting in a queue at a bank in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh to exchange currency notes.
32. A State Bank of India cashier in Bhopal died of heart attack.
33. Soon after watching PM’s announcement of demonetisation, a businessman in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh died after he complained of chest pain.
The deaths have grabbed the attention of Ópposition parties who are planning to launch a concerted attack on the Modi government on the first day of Parliament Winter Session. Trinamool Congress leaders have already sought an appointment with President Pranab Mukherjee to brief him about the inconvenience faced by the people.