Tarn Taran, September 30
A case of embezzlement worth crores has been unearthed by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), Punjab, in the working of Tarn Taran Central Cooperative Bank, at its Doburji branch which has put the bank officials in a spot.
The Baba Deep Singh zone branch of the KMSC had been fighting to get justice for the farmers, victims of the embezzlement, for the last two years but the bank officials and the district administration did not appear to be quite serious in redressing the grievances.
The zonal branch of the KMSC sat on a dharna for an indefinite period (Pakka Morcha) in front of the bank’s branch which entered its fourth day on Friday.
Ramanjit Singh Eima Kalan, Manjinder Singh Gohalwar, Angrej Singh and other leaders of the KMSC said the embezzlement had been going on for over 20 years. The committee leaders said that the bank accounts of those farmers were still functioning but those in whose name the accounts were had died during the last two decades. The families of the dead farmers had even met the bank officials. The leaders said the ‘deceased’ farmers had been getting facilities like loan waiver and others.
The farmer leaders said there were a number of bank accounts and the antecedents of those in whose name they were was not known and transaction in these accounts had been going on. “There were certain cases where the loan taken was lying in their accounts with interest while bank officials had issued them no-objection certificate (NOC) given at the time of clearing the loan,” farmer leaders said.
The farmers leaders said the fraud got highlighted only when the farmers were served notices as defaulters.
The leaders said embezzlement worth Rs 2.5 crore had been detected among the farmers of Gohalwar village alone while the cases in Pandori Sidhwan, Pandori Ran Singh, Bala Chack, Kot Dausandi Mal etc were being verified. A total of 250 farmers were the victims of bank embezzlement, said the farmer leaders.
Jasperjit Singh, Deputy Registrar (DR) of the Cooperative Societies, said the bank officials too had detected the embezzlement and the case along with the evidence is being handed over to the police.
Deputy Registrar Jasperjit Singh said the embezzlement had become a headache for the bank as the matter was years old and at certain point, the records were not available with the bank. The Deputy Registrar said the exact amount embezzled would be ascertained soon.
According to the Deputy Registrar, the department would be able to satisfy the agitating farmers after the inquiry conducted into the fraud is completed.
250 farmers victims of ‘embezzlement’
Farmer leaders said embezzlement worth Rs 2.5 crore had been detected among the farmers of Gohalwar village alone while the cases in Pandori Sidhwan, Pandori Ran Singh, Bala Chack, Kot Dausandi Mal etc were being verified. A total of 250 farmers were the victims of bank embezzlement, said the farmer leaders.
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