Just a week after the Supreme Court ruled that sending agents to recover loans using strongarm tactics is punishable under the law, a 35-year-old man committed suicide on Saturday night, allegedly because he could not bear the harassment and threats by loan recovery agents of a nationalised bank.
The victim has been identified as Manabendra Mondol, a resident of north Kolkata.
In October 2005, Mondol took a loan of Rs 11.4 lakh from the Shalimar (Howrah) branch of the bank to buy a lorry. In the past few months he had allegedly failed to pay the monthly instalments, resulting in a default of Rs 1.4 lakh.
On July 31, a group of agents went to Mondol’s house. When his wife told them he was out, they allegedly threatened her. As they were leaving, they spotted Mondol on the road, dragged him inside their car and allegedly assaulted him. “The agents told him they would take legal action against him and even his family members,” said Uttam Mallick, secretary, Bengal Metropolitan Truck Operators Welfare Association.
Since that day Mondol started receiving threats. On Saturday night, after dinner with his family, he locked himself in his room. Next morning, he was found hanging from the ceiling, dead.
“We’re looking into the matter,” said DCP (north) Damayanti Sen. A senior official of the bank said, “We haven’t heard about the incident, it is too early to comment.”