Mumbai: A day after a 51-year-old PMC bank account holder with Rs 90 lakh at stake, died, Mumbai witnessed two more deaths of distressed depositors in a span of 24 hours.
While a 61-year old man from Mulund died of a heart attack, a woman doctor from Versova committed suicide; both had accounts in the PMC bank.
However, the police claimed the suicide does not seem to be related to the bank’s crises. Fattomal Panjabi, 61 had a massive heart attack on Tuesday around 12.30 in the afternoon, when he was on his way to the bank. He was immediately rushed to the nearby Gokul Hospital where he was declared dead before admission.
Fattomal had a hardware shop, Geeta Electricals, and according to friends, after the bank’s fraud came to light, he was worried about payment to vendors.
According to sources, Fottmal had his life’s savings of Rs 10 lakh stashed in the bank. Dogged by bad luck, his wife had passed away in March and since then he was on his own; he is survived by son Vikas, 32, and daughter Geeta Viswani (38).
After the scam surfaced, the customers have been staging protests against the management and government’s policies; Fottomal was one of the active protesters. The second fatality, possibly linked to the scam, is that of a 39-year-old doctor who committed suicide at her residence in Versova area.
An official, however, said the police “did not think” the suicide was related to the crisis at the PMC Bank. However, there is a contrarian opinion that there may be other reasons for her purported depression but the PMC crisis may have acted as a trigger.
Some officials of the bank have been accused of colluding with private firm HDIL to disburse loans fraudulently, which ultimately caused a loss of Rs 4,355 crore to the lender. Result: Depositors were left in the lurch and unable to withdraw large sums.
Nivedita Bijlani (39), the Versova doctor, was staying with her father in the Model Town area; she consumed a heavy dose of sleeping pills on Monday night, the official said.
“The cause of the suicide is yet to be ascertained. She had an account in PMC Bank but we don’t think it (death) was related to the crisis in the bank,” he said.
Bijlani was suffering from depression for the past few years and had reportedly tried to commit suicide in March last year in the United States, he said.
She was practising medicine in the USA and had a 17-year-old daughter from an earlier marriage and an 18-month old-son from her second marriage to an American national, the official informed.
An accidental death case was registered at Versova police station, he added.
On Monday, a 51-year-old Sanjay Gulati died of heart attack, hours after attending a protest outside Mumbai court. Gulati who had reportedly lost his job with Jet Airways had deposits of Rs 90 lakh with PMC Bank.