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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 2:24 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 2:24 AM (IST)

Farmers up in arms against SBI officials

Farmers up in arms against SBI officials
Farmers stage a protest against the SBI in Patiala on Tuesday. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 12

Farmers associated with the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Dakaunda) staged a protest in front of the State Bank of India’s zonal office at Sheran Wala Gate here on Tuesday. 

Leaders of the union said the agitation was against bank officials for collecting blank-signed cheques at the time of sanctioning loans to farmers.

The farmers on Tuesday also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy General Manager of the State Bank of India. 

Jagmohan Singh, state general secretary of the union, said, “The practice of borrowing money from banks, co-operative banks, money lenders and others has been going on for a long time. Issues are resolved through jurisprudence. In the recent past, commercial banks have started getting farmers arrested on account of dishonour of cheques.”

He alleged that bank officials at certain branches had started obtaining blank cheques from farmers in advance at the time of sanctioning agriculture loans.

The protesting farmers through their memorandum stated, “These collected cheques are not even post-dated and all columns are kept blank at the time of signing by the borrower.” 

Jagmohan said thereafter, the cheques were presented for clearance and were bounced, leading to registration of a case against the farmer. 

 “Later criminal cases under the Negotiable Instrument Act are filed so that the farmer can be arrested and is compelled to arrange the repayment under coercion,” he added. 

The leaders said this practice should be stopped.

They threatened to register their protest at a mass level within two weeks if their demands were not met.

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