Monday, Dec 05, 2022

Congress Shots Fresh Salvos At Kerala Government Over The Suicide Of A Student

Congress Shots Fresh Salvos At Kerala Government Over The Suicide Of A Student

Congress asked both the state and central government to examine and reconsider implementation of SARFAESI act.

Congress Attacks Vijayan Government over Student's Suicide
Congress Attacks Vijayan Government over Student's Suicide File Photo

The opposition Congress on Wednesday targeted the Left government in Kerala over the death of a college student, who was found hanging after seeing an attachment notice on her house from the Kerala Bank. The bank management however sought a "comprehensive probe" into the cause of the suicide.

Coming down heavily on the dispensation, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to explain whether his government formed the Kerala Bank, an apex cooperative bank just to ‘persecute the common people’.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V D Satheesan sent a letter to the CM and the cooperative minister seeking to give directives to stop recovery procedures of all financial institutions including the Kerala Bank.

However, Kerala Bank President Gopi Kottamurikkal justified the recovery procedures and said a probe should be carried out to ascertain the cause of the death. He also said that the bank management had no personal grudge against the family and they only took the initial step as a recovery measure.

Twenty-year-old Abhirami, a native of Sooranadu, was found dead at her house in Kollam on Tuesday evening. According to family members, she was depressed after seeing the recovery notice placed in front of the house when she returned from college. She later locked herself up in a room, where she was found hanging after some time, they said.

Her father had taken a loan worth Rs 10 lakh from a local branch of Kerala Bank, which recently launched the recovery proceedings after he defaulted on the repayment.

In a statement, KPCC chief Sudhakaran said: "Abhirami, who had to commit suicide after the attachment notice was found placed in front of her house, was a victim of the wrong cooperative policies of the LDF government."

Alleging that the college student was yet another victim of the bank, which was formed for political gains in the cooperative sector, Sudhakaran said that the state government was also responsible for her demise.

The Kannur MP alleged it is the Kerala Bank which troubles people the most in the name of provisions under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 also known as SARFAESI act. As per the provision of the act, the bank and other financial institutions can auction residential or commercial properties of the defaulters.

Both the Union and state governments should reconsider whether to implement the SARFAESI Act, which is "pushing the borrowers to death," the KPCC chief added.

Kottamurikkal, however, said that the board was installed in front of the house as per its circular. "Certainly, a comprehensive probe should be carried out to ascertain the cause of the girl's death. The board is placed as a first step when it is found that there are arrears in the loan repayment," he said.

Congress and CPI (M) have been at loggerheads since the former entered Kerala with its Bharat Jodo Yatra. In an offensive tweet CPI (M) mocked at the Yatra as ‘Seat Jodo’ instead of ‘Bharat Jodo’. Questioning the hypocrisy of the Congress, the left party asked why it was about to spend just two days in the UP while taking a 18 days’ tour in Kerala.

In response Congress leader Jairam Ramesh termed it the ‘A’ team of BJP and said, “Do your homework better on how and why Yatra was planned the way it is. And silly criticism from a party that is the A team of BJP in the land of MunduMod”. However, following the controversy the Congress revisited its schedule and pointed out that they would spend five days in Yogi’s state.

.(With PTI Inputs)