When seven days of standing in long queues outside banks yielded no results, a 35-year-old scrap dealer allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan at his house in northeast Delhi’s Mustafabad on Thursday night.
Mohammed Shakeel was reportedly frustrated because he couldn’t exchange old notes worth Rs 5,000. He had to pay instalments of two loans as well.
Shakeel’s family said he went to banks early morning, hoping his turn would come. But he returned every evening disappointed.
“Shakeel would complain that the bank queues were very long. He would become hungry and return home. He had to look after his second son. His wife and three children had gone to their home town in Uttar Pradesh,” said Mohammed Vakeel, Shakeel’s brother.
Shakeel was worked up since the demonetisation announcement as he was unable to work because he had no usable notes.
“To deal in scrap, one needs to have change. After the note ban, Shakeel complained he was unable to earn anything. He went into depression. He stopped speaking after a point of time and just went and stood outside banks,” said Vakeel.
A few days ago, Shakeel even took his physically challenged brother to a bank, hoping they would be allowed to enter. But security guards allegedly told them to stand in a queue, said Vakeel.
On Thursday night, Shakeel and his 12-year-old son Bilaal went to bed. After midnight, when Bilaal woke up, his father was not in bed. He spotted Shakeel hanging from the fan.
“Bilaal was very shocked. He stood staring for a couple of minutes before running outside and informing others,” said Vakeel.
The family took Shakeel to a local hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police was informed.
However, police said Shakeel committed suicide because of his debt and not demonetisation.
“Shakeel was under debt. Further investigation is going on to verify all allegations,” said a senior police official.
“The two people from whom he had borrowed money began asking him to return it in new currency notes. Shakeel had no new notes. He was very frustrated,” said Vakeel.