Bengaluru: Just four months after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced farm loan waivers in his budget speech, farmers in Belagavi and Chamrajnagar have been served arrest warrants for not repaying their bank loans.
The farmers were served warrants by a Kolkata court for not repaying loans taken from Axis bank.
Following the arrest warrants, farmers in Belagavi, Chamrajnagar, Ballary, Hubli, Kolar, Shivamoga, Dharwad, Mysore, Kodagu and Davangere staged protests outside the bank's branches.
The farmers demanded that the cases against them be withdrawn and threatened to continue their protests if the officials failed to meet their demand. The protesters also called on the state government to take action against the banks.
Protesters in Mysore were stopped by the police as they shouted slogans and tried to enter the bank. Around twenty farmers were also detained and released later in Chamrajnagar.
In Hassan district, notice was served to the family of a farmer who committed suicide. The farmer Shashikumar of DM Kurke village of Aresekere taluk had committed suicide last year allegedly because he was unable to repay his loans, News18 Kannada reported.
After the protests, the farmers got some relief with officials telling farmers that the bank had decided to withdraw the cases.
"We have decided to withdraw 140 cases against the farmers. These cases are as old as two years. Once the court reopens after leave, we will be withdrawing the cases," said Rajkumar Gaddagi, bank manager in Bailhongal in Belagavi.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has directed the deputy commissioner of Belagavi to hold a meeting with the farmers and Axis bank officials on November 7 to resolve the issue.