‘BJP won’t come back after troubling people like this’: Exchange of demonetised notes ends but woes remain
Friday, March 31, marked the last day for people who were outside the country from November 8 to December 30 to get old notes deposited in their accounts through the RBI.india Updated: Apr 01, 2017 11:30 IST
When the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shut its gates at 3pm on Friday, around 50 people still stood waiting outside — helpless, clutching onto their demonetized notes, wondering what they were to do next.
Friday, March 31, marked the last day for people who were outside the country from November 8 to December 30 (when the demonetisation process took place) to get old notes deposited in their accounts through the RBI.
On Friday, there were people who had turned up to get as little as Rs 2,000, Rs 1,000 and even Rs 500 deposited in their accounts, money that they claimed they had recovered from forgotten nooks and corners of their homes. Others claimed that they could not make it to the banks because of ‘genuine difficulties’.
As tempers ran high and confusion prevailed, the Delhi Police had to resort to mild force to control the crowd waiting outside around noon.
CP Sahni, a resident of Dewariya, who had been waiting in queue since 9am but was turned away, said it was the poor who had borne the brunt of the government’s attack on ‘black money.’ “People hoarding black money got it exchanged much earlier. You will not see rich people stand in this queue,” he said. Sahni was at the RBI to exchange Rs 5,000 which he claimed he had found tucked away in the back of his cupboard.
Among those who waited, patiently, in queue, was a man who said he had been in jail when demonetisation was announced and two Army personnel who said they were out of the country on duty.
“I was arrested six days before Diwali and was released two days before Holi in a fake case of burglary. I have around Rs 47,500 in old notes. But, I am not sure if they will allow me to deposit this,” said Narveer Madhav Singh, a resident of UP’s Shahjahanpur. He added that he had been visiting the bank for two days in the hope of getting his notes exchanged.
Two others, Satyendra Kumar and Amar Nath, who claimed they were Indian Army personnel, said they were deployed on a UN mission to Israel when demonetisation was announced. The two were hopeful of getting their notes deposited, but were allegedly turned away as a scuffle broke out near the gate later.
Others like Virendra Kumar Gupta, a labourer from Seelampur, was there to deposit a single Rs 500 note. Sixty-seven-year-old old Gupta claimed that he had found the single note tucked between his clothes and wanted to get it exchanged. “I work as a daily wage labourer. Rs 500 is a big amount for me. The heat does not bother me, as long as I can get my money exchanged,” Gupta said. He, too, however was turned away later.
When the RBI gates finally closed, 91-year-old Shankar Lal, a retired teacher from Rajasthan, was reduced to tears.
He had been coming to the RBI for three days to deposit Rs 13,000. “When you get to my age you tend to forget things. I was ill at the time (demonetisation period). I don’t think the BJP will come back to power after troubling people like this,” he said.