ALAPPUZHA: Big names might be evading the legal net after defaulting massive loan amounts. But Falgunan’s story had a sad end. The 53-year-old committed suicide at Cherthala on Friday after the Revenue Department issued a notice to recover an educational loan taken from State Bank of Travancore (SBT) for his daughter. Falgunan of Chunkath house, Chenganda, Varanad, was found hanging on a tree near his house. Falgunan is survived by wife Vasanthy, daughter Shintu and son Shiju. The relatives said Falgunan had taken an education loan from SBT Chenganda branch for his daughter’s education five years ago. The principal amount was Rs 63,000 in 2007 and the instalments were pending. After he defaulted repayment the bank started revenue recovery proceedings.
The delay had cost him dear as the bank failed to record the settlement. Later, when he approached the bank for another loan to buy four more cows, he was asked to go to the SBT South Kallara branch.
The branch granted him the loan, and he took another two agriculture loans from the bank later.
In 2008, he got a letter from the Prime Minister’s office stating that all the four loans were written off under the Agriculture Debt Relief Scheme. When he approached the bank citing that he has already paid the dues of one of the four loans and only three loans have to be waived, the authorities also concurred. However, fate had something else in store for him. He received an attachment notice from the bank in 2010. He was left with no option but to sell his property including house and paid back an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh as he was directed. However, the bank made him pay an additional Rs 47,000 without any notice. By the time the top bank officials realised the fault, Muraleedharan had lost everything.
In the course of fight for justice, he was even charged with a criminal case, which was later withdrawn by the government. “I am a farmer by passion. I am not getting any benefit from agriculture, but I am still continuing it as I have always been a farmer. Real farmers will never betray the banks even if they struggle to repay loans. However, the benefits of the waiver schemes will never reach them,” said Muraleedharan.