As the depositors of Guru Raghavendra Bank continue to struggle to get back their hard-earned money, protests have broken out outside the bank in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The depositors of the bank, who are currently protesting outside Guru Raghavendra Bank, demand that their money which was deposited in the bank should be returned with due interest.
As the depositors are narrating their ordeals, it is important to mention here that so far over 29 people have succumbed while struggling to get their money back. These depositors who are protesting outside Guru Raghavendra Bank in Bengaluru say that 2 years have passed but they have not received their money.
Earlier on June 25, some depositors, who have been suffering from serious health issues and also facing financial problems, spoke to Republic TV. During their conversation, the depositors highlighted their deteriorating financial and health conditions and how the SGRS Bank has cheated them of their hard-earned money.
One of the depositors, Suresh, while speaking to Republic Media Network informed that he has been suffering financially and medically due to this scam. He also urged the Karnataka High Court and other authorities for justice.
In September 2020, the ED attached properties worth Rs 45.32 crore of various key management personnel of the bank on allegations that they had diverted the bank’s funds. The attachments were made under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.
The Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara (SGRS) Bank, which has been operating since 1999, had come under the scanner of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the past few years for misappropriation of funds worth approximately Rs 1,400 crore. Due to this, the Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2020, had raided 5 offices of SGRS Bank officers.
As per reports, at the end of FY19, the bank had a paid-up capital of Rs 70 crore with total deposits of Rs 2,291 crore, and loan and advances of Rs 1,687 crore. The deposits grew from Rs 36 crore a decade ago to the current amount, and the loan and advances increased from Rs 30 crore and tripled between 2014 and 2020.
The RBI in January had capped the withdrawal limit per depositor to ₹35,000. However, it later reviewed the liquidity position and increased the limit to Rs 1 lakh after a few months. The apex bank had also said that more than 54 per cent of the depositors of the bank will be able to withdraw their entire account balance.
After the crisis hit the bank, Bengaluru South Lok Sabha member Tejasvi Surya came out in support of the depositors and assured them of safety for their money. “I want to assure all depositors of Sri Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank not to panic. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is apprised of the matter and is personally monitoring the issue,” Surya had tweeted.
Later when a PIL in this matter was filed in the Karnataka High Court, the police was ordered to investigate the misappropriation of deposits in the bank. The court passed the order based on a PIL filed by K R Narasimha Murthy and three other depositors of the bank. The investigation into the scam is still ongoing.