Buldhana: The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) on Saturday blackened the facade and tore up the banner of Central Bank of India (CBI) at its branch in Datala, Buldhana, protesting against the alleged misconduct of the branch manager, who sought sexual favour from the wife of a farmer, who had applied for a crop loan.
There has been outrage from all sections of society against the misconduct of the manager.
Branch manager Rajesh Hivase, who handled the Datala branch of the Central Bank of India, met the farmer, who had come with his wife to the branch to apply for a crop loan.
He sought her contact details on pretext of processing the loan application. Later, he called her up and demanded sexual favours. He even sent a bank peon to the woman’s house with a message that if she complied, the loan would be passed and even provided extra benefits under a special package.
The woman recorded the phone call and filed a complaint against Hivase with the police. A complaint was filed against the manager and the peon under relevant sections of the IPC and the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
“Both are apparently absconding. “He misused his position of authority shamelessly. It was a throwback to the times when moneylenders exploited farmers,” said Yogesh Pande, a spokesperson of the SSS.
Activists of SSS, led by Devendra Bhuyar, the Vidarbha head, protested in front of the branch, later proceeding to blacken the facade of the bank building and tear down the banner, which carried the name of the bank.
The activists also trampled an effigy of the branch manager. “We will not allow the bank to open on Monday too. Our protest will intensify,” said Pande.
“The State has seen less than 25 per cent loan disbursals till date.
The year for the farmer ends on June 30. No fresh loans have been disbursed yet, as farmers prepare for the Kharif season,” Pande said, adding, “In the wake of this reality, the insensitive and exploitative approach of the manager is just a reflection of how deep the oppression of farmers has reached. Where does all the money with the banks go? The farmers never get loans, but defaulters are given easy loans.”
Pande said this is also a reflection of a weak opposition. “Such pervert tendencies will be exposed. We will be aggressive on this issue because the distress of farmers is going out of hands,” Pande said.
He added, “It is the job of the opposition, but it, too, is ignorant and insensitive.”