Agitated by the auction of nearly two acres of farmland from a defaulting farmer, hundreds of farmers associated with agricultural unions staged a protest in Karnal on Monday.
Protesters alleged that the bank had sold its 17 kanal and three marla farmlands for the recovery of an outstanding loan ₹17 million. They demand that the farmer’s land be returned to him because he is ready to repay his loan.
Protesting under the banner of BKU (Chhotu Ram) and BKU (Tikait), the protesting farmers accused the government of confiscating land from farmers for a pending loan of a few lakh.
Reportedly, Farmer Rishpal Singh from Jalala Viran village in Nissing block of Karnal had taken out a loan of ₹11 lakh in 2007 for a barn and newspaper of a nationalized bank.
He had repaid only four installments but did not repay the entire loan as per the schedule and later the amount increased to ₹17 lakh, with interest.
Now the bank is said to have auctioned off its mortgaged land for loan to a bidder in an online auction about three years ago.
The farmer alleged that there had been no advance notices for the land auction and now he has learned that his land had been sold to a Panipat-based man, Deepak Kadyan, during a an online auction.
The case came to light on Saturday when the buyer of the land, accompanied by a police team, arrived at the village to take possession of it following court orders, but they faced protests from farmers and the police are came back.
Sitamai Police Station Officer Shiv Charan said the owner of the land provided writs to Debt Recovery Court, Chandigarh to claim possession and a police team reached the village for possession but that following the demonstrations, they had returned.
Police said they would visit the village again in the presence of a magistrate on duty to comply with court orders.