New Delhi: Since the ban on high denomination currency, there have been long queues at banks and ATMs - and some deaths. Three people lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh. Their families say they had been standing in queue for hours.
Saud-Ur-Rehman, 50, joined the queue outside a nationalised bank in New Delhi well before dawn on Wednesday. It was the second day in a row that he was standing in queue. The previous evening, by the time it was his turn, the bank had shut.
"Around 11 am, he had started feeling uneasy," said Mohd Shafi, a shopkeeper who stood in the same queue. "He was taken to the hospital but we heard that he died on the way." Saud-Ur-Rehman had died of a heart attack.
In Bareilly, an angry family blocked traffic, refusing to bury the body of 45-year-old Khalik Ahmed, who had suffered a heart attack while standing in queue. "For three days, he stood (in queue) and there is nothing to eat at home," said his brother.
More than 500 km away, in Deoria, wedding preparations had given way to mourning as an uncle of the bride lost his life. Ramesh Bharti, 35, had hoped to withdraw Rs 20,000, but returned empty handed after the bank ran out of cash.
The bride, Mamata, said her father and uncle had gone to withdraw money ahead of the Tilak ceremony.
"My father withdrew 2,000 but my uncle couldn't. He returned home and suffered a heart attack," she said. "I don't think the decision on note ban is wrong, but if we don't get the money when we need to, where does that leave us?"
The tragic deaths in Uttar Pradesh come days after two deaths in Kerala's Alappuzha and Kannur.
One of the deceased was a 75-year-old man. The other, a 40-year-old, had jumped off the bank building as he waited to deposit Rs 5 lakh.
From Kerala to Mumbai, where a one-day old died after allegedly being turned away by a private hospital as the parents lacked cash to deposit ahead of treatment, more than 40 deaths have been reported over the last one week.