CPM expels four leaders accused in Rs 300-crore Karuvannur co-op bank fraud

Thrissur: The CPM has finally cracked the whip against its activists who are suspected to be behind the Rs 300 crore loan fraud at the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank in Irinjalakuda.

The CPM initiated action against 13 persons including party leaders and accused. Four CPM members including the bank president were expelled from the party by its Thrissur District Committee, while action was taken action against nine other persons including a former member of the district secretariat. 

According to preliminary assessment, a fraud worth Rs 110 crore had taken place with their direct involvement.

Though there were reports that four persons had been arrested in connection with the fraud, the Crime Branch has not confirmed this yet

The four CPM leaders expelled from the party are: K K Divakaran, the bank president and CPM Madayikonam branch member; he is the first accused in the case; T R Sunil Kumar, a former Karuvannur local committee secretary and presently a party member; he is the second accused; Biju Kareem, the bank manager and CPM Pothurasseri local committee member, who is the fifth accused; and C K Jills, a member of the Thoduparamb branch committee of the party. 

Veteran CPM leader C K  Chandran who was former president of the bank and former member of the district secretariat has been suspended from the party for one year.

Party's Thrissur district committee members K R Vijaya and Ullas Kallakkad were demoted to the local committee. Irinjalakuda area secretary K C Premarajan and Karuvannur local committee secretary P S Vishwambaran have been removed from their respective posts.

The Bank's director board members -- M B Dinesh, T S Baiju, Ambili Mahesh and A Narayanan -- have been suspended from the party. 

As reported earlier the director board of the bank was dissolved on Thursday in the wake of the scam.

It may be recalled that K R Vijaya was also among the list of probable candidates for Irinjalakuda assembly constituency in the recent assembly elections. She is presently the opposition leader of the Irinjalakuda Municipality.  

The disciplinary action came after two days of hectic deliberations in the district secretariat. On the first day, a marathon discussion for seven hours took place on the matter.

The members pointed out that despite getting complaints regarding the fraud 10 years ago, the district committee didn't intervene in the matter even once. The assistant cooperative registrar's report came two years ago but still, there was no action from the district leadership.

The district-level leadership of the CPM in Thrissur likely kept the loan fraud under wraps for over two years though an early probe suggests the loans were being illegally advanced for about six years. It has been found that one of the main accused in the case, former bank manager M K Biju, took the initiative to pass 379 loans. 

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