Andhra Pradesh Bank Association to approach state HRC on 'Slapgate'

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Hyderabad, July 2 (ANI): The Andhra Pradesh Bank Association on Thursday announced that it would approach the State Human Rights Commission (APHRC) to look into the "Slapgate" case involving Congress and Dalit Member of Parliament M. Jagannath.

It may be recalled that Jagannath, an MP representing the Congress party in the Nagarkurnool constituency of Andhra Pradesh's Mahabubnagar District, slapped Ravindra Reddy, the manager of a local bank, for allegedly denying loans to Dalit applicants.

The President of the AP Bank Association, B Ravikant, confirmed the bank's decision to approach the APHRC.

"We are approaching the Human Rights Commission in connection the incident of the MP slapping a bank emplyoee. We are also going to review decicions to not give loans to government sponsored schemes," he told a television channel over the phone.

"We are going to ask the human rights commission to take strict action and also to protect the interests of employees," he added. Ravikant's move comes even as M Jagannath has been summoned by the Congress leadership to New Delhi to explain the scandal that has left most in the nation shocked.

Jagannath was caught on camera slapping the bank manager. He will meet Law Minister and party general secretary in charge of affairs in Andhra Pradesh Veerappa Moily and party President Sonia Gandhi.

Jagannath has already met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy and explained his conduct.

Jagannath has denied slapping the manager. He claimed his hand only touched the cheek of Reddy, a manager of a AP Grameen Vikas bank branch, when he tried to put it round his shoulder.

Employees of grameen banks in the Congress-ruled state were up in arms and staged protests in several districts and stopped disbursal of loans under government schemes. The bank branch where the incident happened has threatened to go on strike from today.

The police has booked a case against the MP on charges of assault and use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty and said investigation was on. Dalits have filed a counter suit against the bank manager alleging violation of various acts that protect and safeguard the rights of the socially underprivileged.

Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari has described the incident as regrettable and unfortunate, and added that in-house mechanisms will be used to deal with the incident after a report is submitted. (ANI)

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