Staff Reporter

He allegedly duped over 8,000 depositors

HYDERABAD: Scores of depositors of scam-hit Krushi Cooperative Urban Bank on Tuesday said the Bank chairman Kosaraju Venkateswara Rao should be given stringent punishment for cheating people to the tune of crores of rupees.

The depositors launched a scathing attack on Rao after his extradition from Bangkok on Tuesday night.

Innocent people

More than 8,000 depositors, mostly from middle-class families, were devastated after Rao duped them and fled abroad along with his family. The Rs. 35-crore scam surfaced in 2001.

Krushi Bank Depositors Association President Satish Agarwal said Rao deserved stringent punishment.

Some depositors had put in their pension amounts while others invested the money saved for their children's education and marriage in the bank.

"The Court should sentence Rao to death instead of sending him to jail ," said Satish, a businessman at Ranigunj. Mr. Satish reminded that Ranigunj traders had pooled in money to enable a depositor Murtuzah to undergo a kidney operation. Mr. Murtuzah had lost Rs. 2 lakh deposited in the bank.

Another depositor Nitin Bhatt, who owns a shop at Rashtrapathi Road in Secunderabad, said punishment for Rao should be such that no one else would dare commit a similar offence. Nitin had deposited Rs. 18 lakhs in the name of his company days after the bank was launched.