Farmers from different districts of the Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh started an indefinite hunger strike at the district headquarters of a rural bank in Banda on Monday alleging fraud on part of the management.
Under the banner of Bundelkhand Kisan Union, the protesting farmers in the district have alleged that the rural bank was realising money for the loan taken under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) from their savings bank accounts without their consent.
The police said a probe into the matter has so far not confirmed the allegations of the farmers against the bank.
The price of crops sold by the farmer is deposited directly in their savings bank accounts by the Mandi Samiti which the bank officials are adjusting against their loan, without their consent, the president of Bundelkhand Kisan Union, Vimal Kumar Sharma told newspersons.
The bank is also adjusting the money of various central government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), among others, to recover the loan dues, he said.
The union tried to register an FIR against the bank management but failed, Mr Sharma claimed.
Referring to an incident at the bank's branch in UP's Mahoba district, Mr Sharma said the money from the savings accounts was transferred to the KCC loan accounts without informing the farmers concerned.
We also approached the police to lodge a case in this regard but they sided with the bank, Mr Sharma alleged.
Sitaram Naik, a protesting farmer from Panwari area of Mahoba district, said, "Rs 2.34 lakh was deposited in my savings bank account by the Mandi Samiti of which Rs 1 lakh was adjusted in the KCC account without my approval."
Several other farmers sitting on the protest also spoke about their specific cases and Mr Sharma has alleged that more farmers are complaining about similar tactics being adopted against them.