Two Pabna court has granted bail to 37 farmers of Ishwardi upazila under Pabna earlier arrested on charges of not repaying loans to a financial institution named Bangladesh Samabaya Bank.
Judge Mohammad Shamsuzzaman of Pabna Senior Judicial Magistrate Court passed the order Sunday (Nov 27) morning.
The farmers are Alam Pramanik (50), son of Shukur Pramanik, Mahatab Mandal (45), son of Moni Mandal, Kitab Ali (50), son of late Korban Ali, Hannan Mia (43), son of Harez Mia, Mohammad Maznu, son of late Abul Hossain (40), Mohammad Atiar Rahman (50), son of late Akher Uddin, Abdul Gani Mondal (50), son of late Sobhan Mandal, Shamim Hossain (45), son of Kamal Pramanik, Samad Pramanik (43), son of late Ayez Uddin, Noor Bux (45), son of late Samir Uddin, Mohammad Akram (46), son of Riaz Uddin and Mohammad Rajab Ali (40), son of Lalu Khan. All of them are marginal farmers.
Police arrested 12 farmers out of 37 accused on Thursday and Friday in the loan default case filed by Bangladesh Samabaya Bank. Later, they were sent to jail.
In 2016, Bangladesh Samabaya Bank allegedly provided loans of Tk 25,000 to Tk 40,000 per person to a group of 37 marginal farmers. In 2021, Syed Mozammel Haque Mahmud, the then manager of the bank, filed a case against them for not repaying the loans.
Several farmers and their families who have been victimised in the harassment case claimed that most of the borrowers have repaid their loans within a year.
“We have documents and deposit slips with us. But that money was embezzled by the concerned field level officials of the bank without depositing it. As a result, we have to suffer this harassment and suffering,” they said.
In the court premises, central president of Bangladesh Farmer Development Society Siddiqur Rahman alias Kul Moyez said that police arrested 12 people from the house and different places after arrest warrant were issued. The rest left the house in fear of arrest.
Siddiqur Rahman, who won the Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award in 2010, said that it is not acceptable that the people who wakes up in the morning and engaged themselves in the production of food for the people of the whole country are being harassed. The harassment case filed against them should be withdrawn immediately.
The members of the farmers' families thanked the media, saying that today our relatives got legal help due to their role. They thanked the Prime Minister, the media as well as the Bashundhara Group.
Bashundhara Group's social organisation Shuvasangha’s adviser Idris Ali Biswas said that after receiving the news of farmer harassment, Bashundhara, one of the largest industrial groups of the country, stood by the farmers. Bashundhara Group extended legal and financial help to 37 people for securing bail in the case.
Plaintiff in the case Syed Mozammel Haque Mahmud said that the case was filed on the orders of higher authorities as the farmers did not repay the loan amount. It is an ongoing process to recover defaulted loans.
Advocate Saidur Rahman Sumon, who stood for the accused with the legal support of Bashundhara Group, said that the judge ordered the release of the 12 arrested farmers on bail. The bail of the remaining 25 is also under process. Advocate Kazi Sajjad Iqbal Liton and Advocate Moinul Islam Mohan were among the lawyers of the defendant.
BDST: 1513 HRS, NOV 27, 2022