As the former chairman of the Punjab and Maharashtra (PMC) bank, Waryam Singh was set to be produced before the Killa court in Mumbai for the extension of his custody, hundreds of protesters gathered outside. Republic spoke to some of them, who outlined their grievances. Their common demands were that Singh and the other culprits who were involved in the Rs.4,355 crore scam should not be granted bail. Furthermore, the protesters called for the sale of the confiscated properties of the accused, the proceeds of which should go towards the return of their money.
"Our demand is that they should not get bail. Their seized properties should be sold and we should get back our money."
“We have not indulged in gambling. We have deposited our money in a multi-state Co-operative Scheduled bank, which is inspected by the RBI. When the RBI inspects it, we feel reassured that our money is safe. Our money is being misused by the HDIL directors. We are not being allowed to access our own money. They are giving us a dole of Rs.25,000. How will we survive for 6 months? Diwali is coming up. We are not being given any bailout package nor is the RBI assuring us that our money is safe. Neither PM Modi nor Devendra Fadnavis is saying anything. The people whom we voted for are not coming out in our support. We have been thrown on the streets. I am a Chartered Accountant. 15 people work for me, but I do not have money to pay their salaries. All my bank accounts have been sealed. I cannot give them a bonus. What will be the future of my children? We have filed an RTI. Till the RBI’s inspection report does not come up, how will we survive?”
“India is the largest democratic country where it is government by the people, of the people and for the people. Nobody is coming out for the common man. The ministers are making the statement that the co-operative banks do not come under the jurisdiction of the state and Union governments. When it comes to taking loans, why did you take money from the RBI? The money stolen via fraud is ours. Now that you have effected these arrests, it is good. The next step should be that the assets of these people should be sold and the proceeds should be used to return back our money. If this procedure takes time, at least give an assurance.”
“I have made Fixed Deposits here, whose interest comes in other banks. I have my money, my sister and brother-in-law's money. And they are fully dependent on the money. And it is in lakhs of rupees. How do I come out of this mess? The government is not giving any answer.”
"Madam, we do not have money to eat. Suddenly, we learned that the bank has closed down. We have been thrown on the streets. Our entire money is in the bank. The RBI and government should answer- how can a home run in Mumbai with Rs.25,000 per month? What will the senior citizens do? Shall we beg from young people? Why did the government take such a decision? Was RBI sleeping? How did it not know that there was a scam going on in this bank for 8 years? Income Tax department was sleeping. They are leading a luxurious life and we are on the streets. Why is this so? What is happening in the country? Where should we go? Whom shall we beg from? We are fighting this battle for 25 days. We want our money back. We have nothing to do with the government."
"We have not got any response from the bank. Now you only tell me, how can anyone’s house be run on Rs.25,000 for 6 months? I have two children. They are doing CA. I need lakhs of rupees to pay their fees. How can we do all this in Rs.25,000? We have not got any response from the RBI in 17 days. We don’t know what is going to happen to our money. We kept all the money which we earned in PMC bank as it had a good rating. 90% of my money is lying in PMC. My entire money is stuck. Tell us about the status of our money."
"We want only jail and no bail. We want our money back. Their lawyers are saying that they are not criminals. They have defrauded 16 lakh depositors. Is this not a crime? It is a white-collar crime. This is the mockery of our system. This is the mockery of digitization. Do not test the patience of the common man. The government is testing the patience of the common man. Please stop it. Give back our money. How can you expect people to survive? One morning, I get up and see that everything is gone."