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Malda farmer fails to repay bank loan, tries to kill self

The farmer was admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital in critical condition. The bank authorities and the family of the injured farmer, both have lodged written complaints at the police stations concerned.

Statesman News Service | Malda |

Afarmer from Alampur under the Gazole police station in Malda allegedly tried to commit suicide by consuming pesticides in front of the manager of a nationalized bank last afternoon after he was “pressured” on repaying Rs 2 lakh he had borrowed from the bank.

According to Pratap Chandra Ghosh, he was not able to pay his instalments on time as he failed to produce crops on his own land. The family of the injured farmer claimed that the CCTV footage of the incident was with the bank authorities.

Meanwhile, the farmer was admitted in the Malda Medical College and Hospital in critical condition. The bank authorities and the family of the injured farmer, both have lodged written complaints at the police stations concerned. The police said they have started investigations into the matter.

According to the police and local sources, the farmer hails from the Ghoshpara area in Alampur, and apart from his wife Sonali Ghosh, they have two minor daughters, aged 11 and 12. Mr Ghosh, owns around 10 bighas of land, had taken an agricultural loan of Rs 2 lakh from the bank in 2020, it is learnt.

However, it is alleged that the farmer was not able to pay the loan instalment within the stipulated time as he failed to have a good harvest due to various reasons. “It is said that the bank authorities had been mounting pressure on the family to repay the loan,” a local source said.

Sonali Ghosh, the wife of the farmer, said, “My husband had recently sold a plot of land for medical treatment for a few lakh rupees and the cheque for the same was deposited in the bank in the area two days ago. But the bank authorities did not allow us to withdraw the money citing pending loan instalments. We made many requests and told the bank authorities to help us with some money, and that the loan would be repaid later, as family members are unwell in the house and needed urgent medical attention.

However, the bank authorities did not take our pleas seriously. Eventually, in desperation, my husband tried to commit suicide by consuming pesticides in front of the bank manager. We are devastated by the whole incident.”

Villages in Alampur have, meanwhile, expressed unhappiness at the entire incident. They met the farmer last night, while locals also threatened to block National Highway 34 in the area in protest against the bank authorities tomorrow. They said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was talking about providing concessions in agricultural loans or forgiving them in case of problems.

“This tyranny of the bank authorities cannot be accepted in any way. We strongly protest against this,” a villager said. Officials at the Alampur branch of the bank in question did not want to comment on the matter. However, sources said the farmer has four separate loans in his name. The lead district manager of the bank, Sushanta Haldar, said, “I will look into the entire matte