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RPI activists attack ICICI Bank branch

Prabhakar Kulkarni  |  Mumbai/ Kolhapur 

The activists of the Republican Party of India (RPI) have threatened to launch agitation against various branches of the ICICI Bank in western Maharashtra in protest against the bank's policy to deny loans to politicians, journalists, advocates and police.
The ICICI Bank's policy to deny loans to the four constituents came to light when a loan proposal of one Sanjay Gaikwad of Satara was duly forwarded with the requirements and papers but was rejected by the concerned bank manager who clarified that the proposal is rejected on the ground that he being brother of the RPI's Satara district chief Ashok Gaikwad belongs to the political class and according to the bank's policy loans are not to be given to politicians along with the other three constituents.
After the clarification, the RPI activists entered the Satara branch of the bank and smashed computers, glass windows and furniture on Saturday. While the bank?s officials did not lodge complaint to the police, the latter took note of the incident and have lodged the case under the charges of unlawful assembly and smashing of the material.
Satara police when contacted on Wednesday confirmed they have recorded the offence and have started further inquiry with statements of the banks' officials in the branch which is attacked by the RPI activists.
The RPI chief of the Satara unit Ashok Gaikwad has reiterated that the aggressive action was a reaction against the bank's policy to deny loans to politicians, journalists, advocates and police who are vital organs of the democracy.
As it is against the Constitution to deny loans to these constituents the RPI would widen its agitation in various areas, like Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune in western Maharashtra until the bank corrects its policy decision.
The ICICI Bank officials were not available for comment.

First Published: Fri, April 13 2007. 00:00 IST