Special Correspondent

Employees demand adequate protection

Activists of Karshaka Samara Kendram allegdly behind attackNo one injured in the attacksLocal people capture one of the attackersAttackers scatter leaflets and shout pro-Naxalite slogans

KOZHIKODE: Two branches of gramin banks in Wayanad were attacked on Monday allegedly by the activists of Karshaka Samara Kendram, a farmers' organisation affiliated to Porattam, a radical organisation.

The attacks, which took placed around 2 p.m., were directed at the branch of North Malabar Gramin Bank (NMGB) at Manantavadi and the Padichira branch of South Malabar Gramin Bank (SMGB), near Pulpally. No one was injured in the incident but office furniture and windowpanes were damaged.

One person allegedly involved in the attack at Manantavadi was chased and nabbed by local people who had reached the scene, alerted by an alarm that had gone off when the bank's computer was smashed. He is reported to be the Malappuram district secretary of Karshaka Samara Kendram.

After the second incident, which took place nearly Pulpally, the attackers scattered leaflets and shouted pro-naxalite slogans. They got away before policemen arrived. The attacks are believed to be part of the agitation launched by Porattam against attempts by banks to recover loans from farmers who are in financial distress because of fall in prices of farm produces.

In a statement in Kozhikode, the All India Gramin Bank Employees Congress demanded immediate arrests of those behind the attacks and effective measures to ensure safety of bank employees. General secretary of the All India Gramin Bank Employees Congress K. Rajiv also warned in the statement that employees posted in remote places would be forced to stay away from duty, if they were not provided adequate protection.

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