AMID THE ongoing farmers’ unrest, a district collector in Madhya Pradesh has found himself in a controversy for allegedly ordering cancellation of gun licences of farmers who do not repay their loans by June 20. The general manager of Chhatarpur District Cooperative Bank issued a press note on Thursday quoting Collector Ramesh Bhandari as having said that Rs 78 crore due from farmers should be recovered by June 30. It also said that if farmers who own gun licences fail to pay their dues by June 20, their licences will be cancelled.
When reached for comment, Bhandari told The Sunday Express that he did not speak about cancellation of gun licences in the meeting held on June 15 and that he only spoke about purchase of onions. He said he had served a showcause notice on bank’s general manager Y K Singh, asking him to explain within three days why he issued a wrong press note.
“I did not give any such instructions and yet you handed over a press note to the publicity department which is very objectionable. It’s clear that you are carrying out government duty arbitrarily and you are being negligent and indifferent. If your explanation is not found satisfactory disciplinary action will be recommended against you,” read the showcause notice.
Despite repeated attempts, Singh could not be contacted.
Despite repeated attempts, Singh could not be contacted. Sources said as many as 14,039 people hold arm licences in the district but defaulting farmers among them are only 108.