Mumbai: Taking serious note of an incident of a banker allegedly asking sexual favours from a woman to clear a crop loan, the Buldhana district authorities have formed a team to nab the accused, state government officials said on Saturday.
Rajesh Hivase, a bank manager with the Central Bank of India in Buldhana, along with a peon, Manoj Chavan, was booked on Thursday after a woman, who had applied for a crop loan with the bank at Datala village in Malakapur tehsil, filed a complaint.
The incident happened on 18 June and the complaint was filed on Thursday, officials said.
A statement issued by the government said that Buldhana Collector Nirupama Dange would personally monitor the case.
"As soon as the incident came to light, the District Collector spoke to the Superintendent of Police and sought immediate arrest of the accused," the statement said.
Peon Manoj Chavan (37) was arrested from Daryapur village where he had gone to attend a marriage, Girish Bobade, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Buldhana said.
Bobade added that Chavan had been brought to Malkapur police station for further investigation.
He added that a search was still continuing for Hivase and police teams had been sent to the accused's Wardha and Nagpur residences.
The state government statement added that the district administration was preparing a report against the branch manager and a proposal to suspend him was being sent to the bank's management.
The statement further said such incidents will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against the accused.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan condemned the incident and called it a "shame" and a "blot" on a progressive state like Maharashtra.
Speaking on the issue, Chavan said, "Farmers are not getting loan waiver or crop insurance and cannot even avail crop loans. The incident of a branch manager seeking sexual favours from a farmer's wife in lieu of processing a loan is shocking and condemnable."
The Congress' state unit chief also demanded that the government try the case in a fast track court and punish the guilty as quickly as possible.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde, demanded capital punishment for the accused. "This incident is serious, unfortunate and shameful.
What a farmer and his family needs to go through to avail crop loans has now been revealed. The government always sees farmers, who seek a crop loan, with suspicion," the senior NCP leader said.
"The government needs to answer why a farmer's loan is not sanctioned and why do they not receive benefits of loan waiver on time," Munde added.
According to the police, Hivase had taken the contact details of the complainant, when she had visited the bank along with her husband, and then called her later that day demanding sexual favours in return for processing the loan application.
Later, police said, Hivase sent peon Chavan to the woman's house to get her to agree to his demands. The woman recorded the banker's conversation which she later submitted to the police while lodging a complaint against Hivase on Thursday, police said.
A case has been registered against the banker and the peon under relevant sections of the IPC and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and further probe was underway, police said.
Updated Date: Jun 24, 2018 07:40 AM