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Bank Crisis Spreads in India – Deaths, Strike, Supreme Court Denial

The Indian banking sector is facing multiple challenges. Customers of several cooperative banks are still struggling to withdraw their money, and deaths have been reported in connection with withdrawal restrictions. Meanwhile, some 300,000 state-run bank workers are on strike against what the bank unions call “cold-blooded murder of six banks.”

PMC Bank Crisis Worsens

Customers of Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, which has 137 branches in six states, are still struggling to withdraw their money. It has been almost a month since the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), first placed regulatory restrictions on the bank, but depositors say their troubles have only worsened, PTI reported Monday.

According to CNN-News18, RBI officials met a delegation of PMC Bank customers, 100 of whom protested outside of central bank’s headquarters Sunday. “We gave them an ultimatum till October 30. None of us will celebrate Diwali,” a depositor told the news channel. However, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das is currently abroad and is not available to address the issue. Moneycontrol elaborated:

The delegation also demanded Rs 25 lakh [~$35,245] as compensation for the kin of those who have died due to the PMC crisis.

The situation has become so tense that several depositors reportedly died. Murlidhar Dharra, an 83-year-old PMC Bank customer, died on Friday. His family claims they could not raise money for his heart surgery due to the withdrawal restriction. Two PMC Bank customers died of a heart attack, and one allegedly committed suicide.