KARNATAKA

Probe into farmers’ charge against bank soon

Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: Activists of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and Hasiru Sene continued their dharna in front of ICICI Bank on Ramavilasa Road here on Tuesday demanding compensation to the family of H.M. Manjunath, a farmer from Hospura village in Nanjangud taluk who committed suicide allegedly owing “harassment” by the bank while recovering loan from him.

The activists, who launched the protest on Monday, have resolved to continue their agitation until the bank provides compensation of Rs. 25 lakh to the farmer’s family, waives the tractor loan and returns the seized tractor to them.

The protesters also called upon all those who have taken loans from the bank to join their protest against “abusive practices” of loan recovery and flouting of the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the Supreme Court in this regard.

When Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda invited the leaders of the sene for talks, they appealed to him to sort out the matter at venue of the protest. Later, Mr. Gowda, who met the protesters along with the Joint Director of Agriculture, urged them to withdraw the dharna.

He assured them of providing compensation to the farmer’s family from the Government.

Mr. Gowda said that he would send a report to the Government on the issue, and the committee formed to look into the cases of farmers’ suicide would visit Nanjangud.

“I assure you of providing compensation to the farmer’s family at the earliest,” he said.

When the farmers’ leaders sought to know the bank’s stand on the issue of compensation, Mr. Gowda asked them to make a representation to the bank authorities.

However, the farmers decided to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

The farmers took objection to the “clarification” issued by the bank to the media and alleged that the bank officials were shirking their responsibilities. They also objected to the police security provided to the bank.

The farmers submitted letters to the Deputy Commissioner explaining him how the bank had “cheated” them while sanctioning the loans for purchase of tractors.

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