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Rashmi Rekha Das

Tension erupted at an Odisha Gramya Bank branch in Pahanga under Cuttack's Niali police limits on Tuesday after some depositors alleged that the bank officials have embezzled their money saved in the bank.

As per the allegations the money which has allegedly been siphoned off, amounted to Rs 70 lakh. Bank employees are alleged to have embezzled funds starting from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh from accounts of members of multiple Women Self Help Group, farmers and businessmen among others. Though depositors made repeated pleas to bank authorities to update their bank passbooks, the latter ignored their requests saying the passbook updating machine has become defunct.

The fraud surfaced after bank's cashier Banshidhar Majhi was transferred.

Meanwhile, the depositors demanded their money back.

Dharanidhara Maharana, a depositor, said “I had deposited Rs 25,000 after selling my cow. Though bank authorities had given me a receipt, but they have not deposited Rs 25,000 in my account. When I asked the reason, they said the internet connection is lost and the passbook updating machine is defunct for which the same cannot not be updated. 

"I made four rounds of the bank to get my money, but in vain,” he alleged.

Speaking on the allegations, branch manager Subrat Loha said, “We have received complaints in this regard and have already taken the matter to our higher authorities. Management will take the final call on it.”

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