Lucknow: On November 22, a mother of four set herself on fire after spending three days in a bank queue to swap six banned currency notes in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh town. The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for her family, making it the first death officially linked to the currency ban announced last month.
- Raziya committed suicide after standing in queue for 3 days for Rs 3,000
- The 35-year-old had 4 children who went hungry as they ran out of grocery
- UP government announced Rs 2 lakh for families who suffer ATM deaths
Raziya, 35, died of severe burns at a Delhi hospital on Sunday.
Days after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were declared invalid in the centre's attempt to choke tax evaders, Raziya, a daily wager, went to a local bank with Rs 3,000 in 500-rupee notes given to her by her husband, a factory worker. These were his wages for a fortnight.
Raziya spent three days standing in line at the bank. Her family says each time she managed to get to the front, she was told the cash was over.
"She came back on the 22nd and there wasn't even money in the house to buy groceries. Her four children were hungry and started asking her for food. Perhaps the frustration of spending all those hours outside the bank led her to take this extreme step," says Akbar, her husband.
The state government has said it is deeply concerned over such incidents and declared that families of others who have died in bank queues will also be given Rs 2 lakh as compensation.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said deaths outside banks and ATMs were distressing and poor families who suffered such deaths would be compensated from the "Chief Minister's Discretionary Fund'.
Months ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election, his government is the first to announce compensation for deaths linked to bank and ATM queues, as his party and other opposition parties in Delhi have aggressively targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government over the notes ban and its impact on people desperate for cash.
In Aligarh, Razia's mother Raiza wept, "My child won't come back. How will her children grow up? This should not happen to any other daughter."