Some villagers in India have become too shocked and confused to follow the central bank’s guidelines for depositing or exchanging the banned banknotes. Photo: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta
Some villagers in India have become too shocked and confused to follow the central bank’s guidelines for depositing or exchanging the banned banknotes. Photo: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta

Currency crisis blamed for suicides in rural areas

Rumors and social media posts add to the confusion and fear in villages

November 11, 2016 5:49 PM (UTC+8)

The Indian government’s sudden decision to take 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes out of circulation is being blamed for suicides in rural areas.

Some villagers have become too shocked and confused to follow the central bank’s guidelines for depositing or exchanging the banned notes, according to media reports.

A woman in Andhra committed suicide on Thursday morning thinking the high denominations she kept at home to pay for the treatment for her paralyzed husband and other needs had become worthless pieces of paper, the Deccan Chronicle reported.

Rumors and photos on social media showing peanuts being served on banned notes and cattle grazing on them are causing panic among villagers, the Chronicle report said.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old washerwoman in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh committed suicide believing that the two 2,000 rupee notes she had recently saved were now worthless.

Photos of the woman along with the two banknotes and a bank passbook near her body went viral on social media.

Another report from Uttar Pradesh said a man in Agra was so upset over the “worthless pieces of paper” in his pocket that he died of shock on the way to a nearby bank.

 

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