An engineering student hanged himself in Madurai last week after being allegedly harassed

Reliance ARC harasses students to pay SBI educational loan allege activists
news Education Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 18:00

On July 15, 2016, Lenin, an engineering student hanged himself in Madurai after being allegedly harassed by the Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company over an educational loan that he had availed from State Bank of India four years ago.

Lenin had completed civil engineering from Sacs MAVMM Engineering College in Madurai six months ago. “The educational loan and interest is asked to be paid back by the bank only after two years. This student was unemployed and had arrears to clear. His father is also a daily wage worker. How does the bank expect them to pay back the loan so soon?” asked Selva, Students Federation of India (SFI), state district secretary, Madurai.

Lenin had taken a loan of Rs 1,90,000 from SBI in 2012. Reliance ARC was reportedly harassing and repeatedly insulting him and his family. He was given a time period of two months to pay back an amount of Rs. 2,40,000 (with interest).

SFI had submitted a petition at the commissioner’s office in Madurai. “Police has filed a case under Section 174 which is suicide but with that it should include Section 306 of CrPc under which whoever abets the suicide is punishable,” said Selva.

SBI had in 2015-16 sold education loans to the tune of Rs 847 crore to Reliance ARC.  

SFI held a protest against SBI in Coimbatore on Thursday. “The SBI bank has allowed Reliance to collect the education loan in which 55 percent will be given to SBI and 45 percent will be taken by Reliance company. We want the government to take action against it. The Kerala government has not allowed Reliance to collect the SBI loan. Why cannot our government do the same?” asks Deepak, Student’s Federation of India (SFI), the state district secretary, Coimbatore.

He demands that the ruling AIADMK waive off educational loans, as promised in its election manifesto.  “We want the government to waive off this SBI loan,” said Deepak.

An engineer working in Chennai told The News Minute, “I had taken an educational loan of Rs 2,00,000 in 2009 and about one month back, I started getting calls from Reliance ARC saying that I have to immediately pay back the loan Rs 2,40,000 with interest in a few weeks. When I told them I cannot pay such a huge amount so soon, they asked me to pay Rs 20,000 now and pay the rest in a month. They use to repeatedly call and threaten me for the amount,” she said.

Advocates claims that students have to pay the loan in the prescribed time. “In the terms and condition, banks always mention a particular period after which the student has to repay the loan and students have to repay the loan if they are employed or not,” said Paul Kanagaraj, a senior advocate.

But threatening and harassing students is illegal, claims Paul Kanagaraj. “The banks cannot do illegal things. They can file a case in the court if a person is not paying the loan but cannot harass,” said Kanagaraj.

He added that every government which comes into power promises to waive off the educational loan. 

 

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