Tension prevails over ICICI Bank harassment of farmer

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Chamarajanagar, Dec 21 (UNI) Tension prevailed at Harave village in this district of Karnataka today as the protest against the ICICI bank for its alleged atrocities, leading to the suicide of a farmer Siddraju, taking new turn with villagers refusing to perform last rites of the farmer.

Police said despite the district administration assurance the villagers led by various Ritha Sangha leaders refused to take up the rites, since the farmer died three days ago.

The ICICI Bank officials tried for an amicable solution by holding talks with the villagers, but proved in futile, as the villagers demanded compensation from the bank, similar to the one offered by them to a farmer Majunath at Nandangud taluk recently.

The villagers tried to take the body to Deputy Commissioner office at Chamarajanagar, but the police denied permission and asked them to perform the funeral.

The villagers, however, continued their demand by staging dharna.

Meanwhile, ICICI Bank, in a statement here, denied its involvement in Siddraju's death. The bank had sanctioned a loan of Rs 4.97 lakh on December 13, 2006, after following the due procedure of ascertaining the profile of the customer, agricultural activities and taking into account other norms and references, it added.

The Instalment was due from May 15, 2007 and the customer had not made any repayment towards the loan amount. The bank had not initiated any recovery action against the customer. As a routine part of procedure the bank had reminded the customer for the payment of the overdue amount.

The bank also reiterated that it has not influenced the customer.

It was unfortunate that banks were becoming increasingly vulnerable and were being unfairly held responsible for such incidents, the statement added.

UNI

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