Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Unauthorized brokers, in nexus with bank officials, acquire illegal loans in the name of daily-wage laborer

Daily-wage laborer was harassed by the Allahabad Bank for not paying loan which he had never taken. Think of the mental state of the laborer who earns who earns between Rs 50 to 60 a day and has a family of ten to look after, is issued a loan recovery notice of Rs 1.8 lakh for a loan he has never taken.

On December 29 night Jamuna Das (45) committed suicide by hanging himself to a tree in front of his house in Bhadrekhi village in Jalaun district of Bundelkhand, while his family was fast asleep.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and six daughters.

The deceased wife Rajulika, Das told the reporter that her husband had received a recovery notice from Allahabad Bank (Babai branch) in the last week of July for the non-existent loan. “After the notice, he was extremely stressed,” she added.

Das’s 17-year-old son Rajpal told The Indian Express that some unidentified persons had taken the loan in his father’s name by submitting fake papers.

He also suspected that the some unauthorized brokers, networked with bank officials, had acquired illegal loans for their family persons leaving innocent villagers to face the consequences.

Rajulika told her husband ran from pillar to post to prove his innocence but the bank authorities pressurized him to ‘return’ the amount.

“He wrote to the chief minister, district magistrate, Atta police and other officials but no one helped him,” she said.

When The Indian Express reached the Allahabad Bank (Babai branch), it found that the then branch manager Sher Singh was lodged in Orai jail, with over 15 cases of loan-related frauds registered against him.

A K Srivastava station Officer, Churkhi police station, told The Indian Express that cases had been lodged under section 420, 466, 486, 479, 120(b) and the Gangster Act. “Sher Singh along with two brokers Virendra Singh and Lalji Singh were arrested from Jhansi and sent to jail on November 19, 2007,” he added.

Jalaun District Magistrate R Sampheal told The Indian Express that the administration has taken very serious note of the incident.

He said a huge racket, including bank officials, was active in the area and the police was making full efforts to identify the guilty. “I have written to the bank authorities asking them not to issue recovery notices to the villagers without proper inquiry,” he added.

He further added that anyone found involved in unauthorized recovery of loans will be booked.

Another Dalit laborer of the same village, Shyam Babu is also the victim of the bank-broker network.

Father of seven, Babu questioned, “How can the bank hand over a loan of Rs 50,000 on my land which costs hardly Rs 40,000?”

He also repeated Rajpal’s claim that corrupt bank officials have given loans to unauthorized persons in the name of poor villagers.

“I have written to Chief Minister Mayawati and senior police officers in this regard,” he added.

It does not end here only; a laborer Gangawati Kushwaha, another victim of loan fraudulent reportedly left the village to take shelter with her relatives when a few field officers of the same bank asked her to return a loan of Rs 50,000.

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