A farmer in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district was beaten up and his vehicle snatched away by loan recovery agents of a private finance company for failing to pay up two instalments.
B Balan told Hindustan Times he had taken a loan worth Rs 3.80 lakh in 2011 and has repaid a sum of Rs 4.11 lakh, but he was yet to pay two more instalments. The total amount that he owes now is Rs 1.30 lakh.
“They did not even give a warning or make a phone call. They just came and started bashing me up to snatch the tractor,” he said.
They took away the tractor, which is now with the finance company.
On Friday, at least 20 persons, including 10 policemen, came to the village and began beating Balan asking him to leave the tractor. When he said they had not given any notice, he was only beaten more.
Balan was beaten up in front of the entire village in the presence of policemen who were accompanying the loan recovery agents. A video of the attack on the farmer was aired on a private television channel.
District superintendent of police S Kannan denied the policemen beat up the farmer saying he had defaulted on a loan and an action was taken against him following a court order.
Balan, however, said he was not served with any notice of the non-payment of the instalments and that his vehicle would be repossessed. The farmer said he could not pay the previous instalment in 2015 due to severe crop loss.
“But I would have made some arrangement and paid, but they were not willing to listen,” he said.
Farmers’ association of Thanjavur questioned why the farmer was beaten up and harassed when many others who owed banks thousands of crores of rupees were treated with deference. The association said it would hold a protest on Thursday to highlight the injustice.
The attack on the farmer comes at a time when liquor baron Vijay Mallya is under probe for an alleged loan default of Rs 900 crore taken from IDBI bank. It is alleged the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.
The CBI has registered a case against Mallya, director of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, A Raghunathan chief financial officer of the airlines and unknown officials of the IDBI Bank.