Special Correspondent

Political activists stage protests alleging that it is part of a burial ground

Bank issues loan of Rs. 5 lakh for business development and borrower defaults

Protesters question how loan was sanctioned on part of the land in the burial ground

KADAPA: The proposed auction of a stretch of land in Masapet by State Bank of Hyderabad officials on Wednesday triggered off protests by Congress, Telugu Desam Party and Praja Rajyam functionaries before the bank's main branch near Chennur bus stand here, alleging that it was part of a Hindu burial ground.

Amidst protests, the bank officials announced putting off of the auction on the directions of District Collector Shashi Bhushan Kumar.

Congress corporators in Kadapa Municipal Corporation — B. Ayyanna, Bola Padmavathi and Pathi Rajeswari , former municipal Chairman and TDP leader S. Harindranath, Praja Rajyam district president B. Hari Prasad and State secretary Nazeer Ahmed, who led a protest by residents of Masapet, demanded scraping of the auction and recovery of the outstanding loan from the defaulter by other means. They also represented to the sub-registrar urging him not to register the land in favour of any person.

Notices served

The bank had issued loan of Rs. 5 lakh for business development to B. Ramalakshmi of Devunikadapa by mortgaging 21 cents of land under Survey No. 943 at Masapet in 2005. It proposed auction for sale of the land at a reserve price of Rs. 13 lakh on Wednesday to recover the outstanding loan as the borrower defaulted.

The bank served notices on the defaulter and published pamphlets denoting sale of the land by auction, but the protesters questioned the bank officials as to how a loan was sanctioned on part of the land in the burial ground.

However, SBH main bank branch manager V.N.R. Krishnamurthy and Vijaya Krishna, an official of the bank's Tirupati regional office, who came to oversee the auction, claimed that the loan was granted on the woman's patta land.

The loan was granted on verifying documents and link documents of the applicant and enquiries with local people, they said.

The Congress, TDP and Praja Rajyam leaders maintained that the Hindu burial ground spanned an extent of 4.07 acres under survey No. 934 in Masapet for use of people of six adjoining municipal divisions.

They demanded an inquiry and action against the erring persons in the issue.