Afraid of losing spot in queue, people watch silently as another man dies
The ‘hasty and callous’ decision of the Centre to demonetise high-value currency notes overnight continues to take its toll on the common people as it claimed another life in the state on Saturday.
Saturday’s incident has shocked the people as a middle-aged man died after being left unattended outside the ATM kiosk at Bandel station where nobody bothered to help the victim. He had been lying there unattended for more than an hour with other people standing in the queue to withdraw money from the ATM.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her anguish on Twitter over the things that happened so far. Calling Saturday’s incident as unfortunate, the Chief Minister tweeted: “Unfortunate death toll continues this morning as one Kallol Roy Chowdhury collapsed and died in front of an ATM at Bandel station. My condolences to the bereaved family. Is Modi Babu listening.”
The victim, Kallol Roy Chowdhury, a resident of Adarshapally in Behala was returning to the city from Cooch Behar where he has been posted.
He got down from a train at Bandel and wanted to board a Sealdah-bound local train. After coming to know that an ATM is situated just outside the station, he decided to withdraw some money.
He stood in the queue and waited for his turn. There were around 20-25 persons standing in the queue that time. When his turn came nearer, he suddenly complained of chest pain and fell on the ground just outside the door of the ATM kiosk.
Nobody in the queue bothered to come help him. As a result, the victim remained on the ground for more than an hour.
Finally, the security guard of the ATM kiosk came to know about the incident and informed the local residents who in turn brought in a local doctor. On his advice, the victim was taken to Chinsurh hospital in Hooghly where the doctors declared him brought dead. The patient’s life could have been saved had he been brought to the hospital in time. Doctors said that the patient had suffered a cardiac arrest.
It may be mentioned that two elderly men on Friday died in two different districts after suffering heart attacks while waiting for hours in long queues to withdraw their pension from nationalised banks.
While one of them died soon after withdrawing a part of his pension, the other elderly person died even before that. One incident took place at Machlandapur in North 24 Parganas where Rabin Mukherjee (73) had died while in another incident Viswadeb Naskar (80), a retired school teacher from Raidighi in South 24-Parganas died in the same manner.
Being the beginning of a new month, people are queuing up in front of ATMs to draw their salaries. A rush with a bit of jostling is obvious, though not cherished, as the concerned salaried class wants to have their share of the green paper, albeit in parts, to look after the daily needs of their family.