The family of a 16-year-old boy who died in Kolkata on Thursday alleged that his death was the direct result of a chemist refusing to accept demonetised notes.
According to sources, Siba Das was admitted to the emergency department of R G Kar medical college and hospital with high fever on Thursday. The doctors asked family members to purchase “leukoplast tape”. The family alleged that the chemist outside the hospital refused to accept a Rs 500 note, and they had to leave without buying it. However, the medical store denied all allegations.
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“He came with a Rs 500 note. The product cost was Rs 180, and we had no change to give back to the customer. Hence, we requested them to take the leukoplast tape and keep Rs 500 with us, or borrow it on credit. They didn’t agree, and left without buying. It wasn’t medicine, it was just a tape which is used to cover a cut,” said T K Ghosh, owner of Kamala Medical Store.
After the death, the family staged a protest in front of the ward Thursday evening. One of the doctors said the patient was in critical condition when he was brought to the hospital. Many people have alleged that the majority of medical shop owners in the city are refusing to accept the scrapped currency notes.
“We have heard that medicine shops can accept banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till November 24th on doctor’s prescription. But we don’t have change to give back to the customer, so ultimately even if we want, we end up not accepting the notes,” said another medical shop owner.