Biplab Kr Dey
TURA, March 15 – The Kharkutta branch of State Bank of India has come under intense scrutiny after Kisan Credit Card (KCC) beneficiaries complained of money being deducted from their accounts by one middleman who acted as the liaison between the branch and the customers. Beneficiaries complained that more than Rs 20,000 had been taken by the middleman from some accounts without their consent.
The main accused one Harding M Marak, a resident of Menadoba in North Garo Hills, has been withdrawing money from beneficiary accounts for more than a year now and it is suspected the total amount of the scam could be in crores of rupees.
One customer from Rajasimla said, “We had gone to the branch for the KCC loan and was referred to Harding by the manager. Harding said he would get the loan sanctioned and asked for Rs 2,000 upfront. We paid him the amount. The loan was given to us but Harding deducted Rs 3000 again saying it was meant for a fixed deposit. However, we have never received any receipt for it”.
“We went to the branch for a KCC loan for our farming activities. When we approached the branch manager, she directed us to Harding. When we went to Harding, he asked for Rs 2000 to process the loan”, alleged B Marak, a resident of Dokongsi village, near Kharkutta.
“He took our bank pass books and gave us an amount of money after a few months. He, however, did not return our passbooks. When asked he made various excuses to not return it. When he finally did, we found Rs 15,000 withdrawn from the account”, alleged Gabel Sangma of Rongbu village.
The majority of the villagers have been affected in places like Rongbu, Dokongsi, Rajasimla, Upper Rongbu, Baghabatta, Menadoba, Megam Akong and Chibonga.
Further, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, which is to provide a free bank account to the people of the country, has suddenly become a paid account. “We were asked for an amount of Rs 600 for the creation of an account that is supposed to be free”, alleged another villager of Rongbu.
Upon being contacted, the AGM of Garo Hills SBI has stated that the matter would be immediately investigated and the guilty would be acted upon.