Karnataka: Bank Rejects Loan, Youth set the Bank on Fire

Incidents like these are a reflection of growing economic crisis in the country that pushes people to take such extreme measures.

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Haveri:The country is in deep economic crisis and everyday lakhs of people are pushed further into a life of poverty and misery. One such incident came to light in Haveri district of Karnataka.

A 33 year old man had applied for a bank loan at the Canara bank branch in the Hedigonda village in Haveri district . But the bank refused to grant him loan. Angered and frustrated by the rejection from the bank, he tried to set the bank on fire.

The incident took place on Sunday night when the accused was caught by the residents residing near the bank, when he was allegedly trying to escape after setting fire in the Canara bank branch.

According to the Kaginele police which have filed the case, the accused who is the native of Rottihalli village was running an NGO. He was facing severe financial crises and had borrowed loan from private money lenders.

Since he had no other sources to clear the debt, he thought of borrowing a loan from the bank. He applied for the loan in various banks, but all the banks refused to offer loan considering his weak financial position.

A month ago, he visited the Canara bank branch in Hedigonda village to apply for the loan. He was apparently hopeful of getting a positive response. But here too, he received only disappointment as the bank refused to offer a loan.

Frustrated by the rejection, he decided to take revenge from the bank. According to the police, he had carried a can of petrol with them to set the bank on fire. He broke one of the windows and threw petrol and lit up the fire.

The fire suddenly started spreading and the accused was taken aback. As the fire began erupting fast, he tried to escape from the scene. During the process, he sustained minor injuries. He was caught by the neighbours while he was trying to escape who then handed him over to the police.

The police have registered a case based on the complaint filed by branch manager H. M. Naik. He is booked under various sections of IPC including 435, 436, 427 and 447.

Loans and Bank NPAs

Incidents like these are a reflection of growing economic crisis in the country that pushes people to take such extreme measures. While the accused is arrested one need to question the circumstances that pushes people to take such actions.

Banks and financial enterprises that should work as safety net for the poor have been hollowed out and are only working as coffers for corporates. While people are committing suicides for not being able to return bank loans, big corporates are given not just given big loans, those loans are also waived off. This can be seen in the increasing number of Non performing assets(NPA) in majority of Indian banks.

Indian Banking industry is seriously affected by Non-Performing Assets (NPA). More than Rs. 7 lakh crore worth loans are classified as Non-Performing Loans in India.

The weakening of banking institutions has resulted in bankruptcy and bank mergers and privatisation of national banks. In the case of public sector banks, the bad health of banks means a bad return for a shareholder which means that government of India gets less money as a dividend. Therefore it may impact easy deployment of money for social and infrastructure development and results in social and political cost.

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