Fresh probe into ‘goonda banks’ in Bihar

Patna, July 3 (Calcutta Tube) Nearly four years after illegal banks run by criminals and musclemen in rural Bihar came to light, police have decided to launch a fresh probe into their operation.

The agents of ‘goonda banks’, as they are called, force people to deposit their hard earned money with the promise that it will be doubled within a year and provide loans at high interest rates.

They target farmers and local businessmen and confiscate the properties of those who are unable to pay back the loans.

‘A CID (Crime Investigation Department) probe has been recommended into the operations of goonda banks in Bhagalpur district,’ Inspector General of Police A.K. Ambedkar, Bhagalpur range, told IANS over phone Saturday.

In 2006, ‘goonda banks’ being operated in rural areas of Bhagalpur, Katihar, Purnia and Madhepura districts hit the headlines.

Soon after, police launched a crackdown against them but failed to curb their operations. It was estimated by police then that nearly two dozen ‘goonda banks’ operated in Bhagalpur and Katihar.

Ambedkar admitted that big players operating the banks were moving scot-free and only the small players have been arrested so far.

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