What began as just another working day for the staff of the Ramanathapuram branch of Canara Bank in Coimbatore turned into a nightmare on Tuesday after they were attacked by a customer for delaying his loan process.
Armed with an air pistol, 44-year-old Vetrivel, a local businessman, barged into the office of the bank’s chief manager at 11.20 am and began attacking a member of the staff, threatening to shoot him. CCTV visuals from the room show the chief manager intervening, only to be attacked next.
Soon more employees from the bank came rushing in to control the attacker, who continued to assault the staff till he was dragged out of the bank. The bank immediately informed the police, who arrested Vetrivel.
According to Chandrasekhar, the chief manager of the branch, the delay in the loan process for Rs 1 crore was due to technical reasons, and the attack was completely unexpected.
“The amount exceeded our branch capability, so we submitted the documents to our circle office. But for some technical and financial reasons, the matter was rejected. Again, the party made a request to help and offered additional security and collateral. Then we told him it was not possible, but since you are requesting we will take up the matter again with our circle office and if they say yes we will try to help you,” explains Chandrasekhar.
“So, it took a little time. But yesterday, he came violently to my cabin and tried to attack our people. He claimed that there was an undue delay. We couldn’t stop him and so we informed the police. A complaint was lodged with the Race Course police and an FIR was filed. Three staff were injured and some customers were also attacked. We need more security to discharge our duty,” he adds.
Police sources meanwhile tell TNM that Vetrivel attacked the staff out of sheer ‘frustration’ and confirmed that his loan was delayed by close to three months.
“He runs a compressor business and was facing losses to the tune of Rs 60 lakh. He was in a hurry to get the loan but the bank was yet to approve it or give a final word on it,” says an official. “He acted out because of the stress,” he adds.
Vetrivel was arrested by the police and booked under sections 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 452 (Trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 506(ii) (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.