Unable to get old notes exchanged because she did not have identity proof, a 24-year-old mother of two stripped at the Reserve Bank of India premises on Wednesday afternoon.
The woman, a resident of Nangloi, went to the Reserve Bank of India office in the capital on Tuesday morning hoping to get two old Rs 1,000 notes and four old Rs 500 notes exchanged for new currency. She made the money working as a daily wager.
“The notes she had were in a bad shape. She said rats in the jhuggis, where she lives, chewed on them. The notes were kept in her two-year-old son’s pants pocket,” a senior police officer said.
When she eventually made her way to the RBI counter after hours of waiting, she was turned away as she did not have an ID proof, police said. “She was told by RBI staff that she could not get notes exchanged without an ID card. But she refused to leave and her child urinated inside, so policewomen had to escort her outside,” the officer said.
She waited outside for a long time before finally going home. But on Wednesday, she returned with her son at 10 am, and was again turned away. This time, however, she parked herself outside the RBI. “Policewomen tried moving her but she resisted and we did not want to be too harsh. Women personnel kept standing next to her while guarding the premises,” the officer said.
At 1 pm, after weeping for hours, she took off her upper garment. Confused about what to do, RBI authorities made calls for police action. Women personnel, within minutes, whisked the woman and her son away in a police van.
DCP (New Delhi) B K Singh said, “We cannot comment on why the notes were not exchanged. That is the RBI’s prerogative. But we got a call about her taking off her clothes. To prevent trouble in a public area, we took her to Parliament Street police station from where she was escorted home.” The woman has a son and a daughter. Her husband abandoned her recently, police said.