CPI(M) paid the amount, produced receipt at court

A 73-year-old farmer imprisoned for a case relating to default in payment of his daughter’s education loan was released from the Kannur Central Jail on Saturday.

N.T. Joseph from Vilangad near Vadakara here was released after the Kozhikode unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) paid the outstanding loan to the bank and produced the payment receipt at the Vadakara court on Saturday.

CPI (M) sources said he was released around 5 p.m. and was on his way back home. The party’s district committee secretary T.P. Ramakrishnan had in a press conference earlier this week indicated that the party would intervene on Mr. Joseph’s behalf.

The farmer was remanded on February 20. The loan was taken in 2004 to pay for his daughter’s nursing course, but he could not repay it. His daughter could not secure a job remunerative enough to pay back the loan.

“We could not pay even a single instalment of the loan. Our land in Panniyeri (Vadakara) was converted to ecologically sensitive area (ESA). We suffered agricultural loss. There was no means to pay. Now we have to pay back Rs.3.25 lakh,” Leelamma Joseph, the farmer’s wife, had told The Hindu during a visit.

Enquiries with the State Bank of India’s Cheekunnu branch, from where he had taken the loan, revealed that the bank had unrealised education loans amounting to Rs. 2.5 crore.

Bank sources had denied any wrongdoing on their part. They said his arrest and incarceration was a result of the “due process of law”.