Farmers take out march to bank

Published on: 27 Nov, 2015
Published under: General Kerala News

Hundreds of farmers under the aegis of the Aikya Karshaka Samara Samiti, a farmers collective, took out a march and staged a dharna in front of the Irulam branch of the Kerala Gramin Bank near Pulpally, raising a slew of demands including return of the mortgaged land deeds of a farmer who was incarcerated in connection with defaulting on repayment of loan.

Inaugurating the protest, Kerala Karshaka Sanghom president E.P. Jayarajan, MLA, said the government had introduced Grameen banks to provide financial support the to farmers in rural areas of the country, not to incarcerate farmers. The debts of farmers should be brought under the purview of the Debt Relief Commission, he said.

Mr. Sukumaran, a farmer at Irulam in the district, had taken Rs.90,000 from the Irulam branch of the Kerala Gramin Bank by mortgaging 75 cents of land in 1999. He could not repay the debt on time owing to crop loss, he said. Instead of attaching his property to recoup the debt, the bank authorities tried to detain him.

Decades back, the farmers in the State had launched agitations against the feudal system, but now they were struggling against the exploitation of financial institutions, including nationalised banks, he said. If the authorities tried to appoint goons to collect outstanding debts from farmers, the forum would resist the attempt at any cost, Mr. Jayarajan warned.

The farmers also sought compensation to the jailed farmer and action against the bank manager who misled the Sulthan Bathery sub court by submitting a fabricated affidavit. They also demanded that all revenue recovery measures against the farming community in the district be stopped.
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