PMC Bank
Depositors protesting outside RBI's office in Mumbai(File Photo)Credit: Reuters

Depositors of scam-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank have demanded an immediate bailout package of Rs 5000 crore from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The depositors staged a dharna outside the Killa court in Mumbai on Wednesday and vowed to vote for 'NOTA' (none of the above in the ballot paper) in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections if their demands are not met.

The depositors also held a meeting with Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve who assured of full support in the ongoing case against the bank, Hindustan Times reported.

Harban Singh, 38, a Mumbai-based hotelier and a PMC Bank depositor said, "The commissioner has assured us that Rs 4,500 crore worth of property seized from the directors is primarily for the bank's purpose and will be used in support of the customers. The commissioner has also assured of an appointment of a special public prosecutor to protect our interests."

Earlier in the day, protesters squatted on the pavement outside the court. They held placards demanding the resignation of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das and questioning the authenticity of the auditors who oversaw the functioning of the bank.

Anita Ruia, 40, a social worker at an NGO said, "The RBI was unsuccessful in maintaining a proper vigilance. Why are we being punished? We have paid taxes on our hard-earned money lying in the bank and are being made to beg for our own money."

PMC bank
Depositors and investors gather outside Bhandup Branch of the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.IANS

The Mumbai police will now investigate how audits carried out by the RBI could not detect any mismanagement. Barve said, "Audit by RBI should have revealed discrepancies. We are looking at why it did not show in the forensic audit of RBI. The loans are in different names. We are looking at why the loans were not revealed. We will not spare independent auditors, cooperative auditors, and RBI auditors. No one will be able to leave the country."

The development has come against the backdrop of the third depositor dying within 24 hours. Two out of three deaths were attributed to heart attacks while the third depositor, who was "suffering from depression", committed suicide.

Last month, RBI had put restrictions on withdrawal from PMC bank, limiting it to Rs 1000 and eventually raised it to the present level of Rs 40,000.