Mumbai

PMC Bank depositors detained, Uddhav Thackeray assures help

Relentless: Depositors protest outside the RBI office at BKC on Sunday.

Relentless: Depositors protest outside the RBI office at BKC on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Trupti Arekar

Police pick up protesters outside Matoshree before letting them off; Thackeray later meets delegation at home

More than 50 depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank were detained by the police on Sunday after they protested outside Matoshree, the residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. They were later let off.

Later in the day, Mr. Thackeray assured the depositors of help. “We will do everything in the State government’s power to give you relief,” the Chief Minister reportedly told a delegation of depositors he met at his residence.

PMC Bank depositors have been protesting at Azad Maidan for about a week now. They have been demanding strict action against the accused and that the depositors’ money be returned. On Sunday, nearly 500 depositors initially protested outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), shouting slogans such as: “RBI chor hai (RBI is a thief).”

The protesters later went to Matoshree in Bandra. They assembled outside the gate, shouted slogans against the RBI and demanded that their delegation be allowed to meet the Chief Minister, a police official said.

“More than 50 protesters, including some women, were detained and taken to Kherwadi and BKC police stations,” he said, adding that some of them were later allowed to leave.

One of the depositors, Preetpal Singh, said that for the last three months, they have been tweeting messages to the Prime Minister to put forth their woes, but their miseries are yet to end.

Another depositor, Vijayan Kurup, said if the government wants to merge the troubled lender with another bank, they will not oppose the decision. “We only want our money back,” he said.

State minister Jayant Patil had last week suggested that PMC Bank be merged with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, but was later told it could not be done. He had assured depositors the government would take up their concerns with the RBI.

The PMC Bank, which has around 16 lakh depositors, was placed under an RBI administrator on September 23 for a period of six months due to massive under-reporting of dud loans.

The bank, over a long period of time, gave more than ₹6,700 crore in loans to the now bankrupt Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd. (HDIL), which is 73% of its total advances. Its total loans stand at around ₹9,000 crore and deposits at over ₹11,610 crore.

So far, 12 people have been arrested in the fraud, including directors and former officials of the bank as well as promoters of HDIL.

At least eight depositors, who had high quantum of money stuck with the bank, died in the last couple of months, including one who committed suicide.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 6:59:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pmc-bank-depositors-detained-cm-assures-help/article30314996.ece

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