The depositors of crisis-hit Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank staged a protest on Tuesday, December 22, seeking quick relief as they alleged that RBI had neglected the probe into the irregularities at the bank.
The bank hogged the headlines in January when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) began its investigation into the financial irregularities amounting to over ₹1,400 crore, reported NDTV.
The central bank had imposed restrictions in January on the Bengaluru-based co-operative bank for the 'next six months or until further review'. After this, the bank was not allowed to carry out any further transactions, and the amount of withdrawal was limited to ₹5,000 for each depositor.
The depositors had thronged the bank to withdraw the permitted amount. Later, the withdrawal amount was raised to ₹1 lakh in June-which once again saw queues despite the fear of Coronavirus pandemic.
The protestors alleged that the RBI officials' negligence has directly affected over 41,000 depositors and indirectly affected 2.5 lakh people. They also alleged that 16 depositors are dead and more than 40 admitted to various hospitals since they were unable to bear the shock.
The protest was led by the Sri Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank Depositors' Welfare Association and the Sri Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank Depositors' Welfare Forum, at the Nettakallappa Circle near Basavanagudi.
"We have all been struggling for the last year. Out of the 41,000 depositors, 85 per cent are senior citizens. Can anyone tell me, in a place like Bangalore, how can we live for one year with a release of just ₹1 lakh? Does the government mean I can manage my life on ₹10,000 a month in a place like Bangalore? There are senior citizens who don't have money to buy their medicines," said Pratima, president of a group formed by the depositors.
BJP MLA Uday Garudachar, who was also present at the protest venue, said, "We (elected representatives), are doing our best to see the bank is revived. The management - Ramakrishna and his son - are behind bars. The government of Karnataka, the government of India, even our honourable finance minister is very keen that the bank is revived. It takes a little time."
However, the depositors showed no trust with the elected representatives. Harish, another depositor, was not hopeful about political help. He said, "There are politicians who came here and said they would do it. They have not done anything."