More than a dozen die in crushing queues as India scraps banknotes

More than a dozen people have reportedly died after the Indian government ordered the withdrawal of large denomination bank notes from circulation, causing huge, crushing queues at ATMs.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the withdrawal of the notes in an effort to fight tax evasion, forgery and corruption.

At least 16 people are reported to have collapsed and died in queues for banks and ATMs as they rush to exchange 1000 (£12) and 500 rupee notes - which accounted for 86% of cash in circulation - for legal tender.

Other deaths have been reported as the sudden cancellation of the notes has left many Indians without means to pay for basic services.

While vital services like hospitals and petrol stations are allowed to accept the old currency, the message has been lost in the chaos that followed the announcement.

A baby girl reportedly died in Mumbai over the weekend when a hospital refused to accept her parents' discontinued notes and they could not change their notes in time.

A cash-reliant economy for many ordinary Indians, the withdrawal has hit many hard, and with so little cash in circulation, people have been resorting to using informal IOUs in the hope that the crisis eases soon.

Long queues for cash have led to several deaths, according to reports. Credit: Reuters