Vikash Sharma

It is now almost five days that the Padmakesharipur village on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar remains on the tenterhooks following a clash reported on Saturday. Since then, the women and children of the village are spending time in a state of panic as all the male members have deserted the area.

The situation is such that no food is being cooked in some houses while other families don’t have anything to eat.

What is The Reason Behind Repeated Violence at Padmakesharipur?

It is alleged that money lending at higher interest rates is to be blamed for such unrest at Padmakesharipur. Meet 25-year-old Subrat Das. He is physically challenged and he is still repaying the loan of Rs 10,000 which was taken by his grandfather. Surprisingly, he has not utilised the Rs 1000 allowance that he gets for his physical condition as it goes to pay the interest.

“My grandfather had taken the loan and he died. My father had repaid some money and so far I have already paid Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000. The interest on the loan is 20 per cent,” alleged Subrat.

The same is the story of Minu Das who had taken a loan of Rs 10,000 for her mother-in-law’s treatment. So far, she has paid Rs 2 lakh but still has another Rs 1 lakh to clear.

“I had taken the loan some 8 years back for my mother-in-law’s treatment. Whenever I failed to repay the money, he used to come, misbehave and assault,” alleged Minu.

Both Subrat and Minu alleged that similar action or punishment is meted out when a person fails to repay the monthly interest.

Amidst the reign of terror by moneylenders, a BJP delegation led by former MLA Priyadarshi Mishra visited the Padmakesharipur village. As a new government has been formed in the state, the matter would be reviewed and steps will be taken to resolve the issue, the team said.

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“The government will take steps to stop the money lending business and efforts will be taken so that people spend their lives peacefully,” said Mishra.

Even the Commissionerate Police conducted a flag march in the area and appealed to people to maintain peace. Bhubaneswar DCP Prateek Singh visited the spot and reviewed the situation. So far one platoon police force has been deployed and an appeal has been made to those who have fled their homes.

Several intellectuals have condemned such torture, and atrocity in the guise of money lending at high interest at a place located some kms away from the heart of the city.

“The state government should take note of it. Particularly, the Sub-Collector, Tehsildar and Police can conduct an investigation and take action against them,” said Batakrushna Tripathy, a retired police official.

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