Guwahati: Ratul Sonowal, a retired Indian Army Jawan, opened a Fixed Deposit (FD) of Rs 5 lakh in the State Bank of India (SBI) in order to secure his money. Satisfied, he went home believing he could now sleep in peace, till the maturity of the FD after the lock-in period of three years.
Sonowal, who retired from the Indian Army after serving for 24 years, had invested a part of his pension money in the SBI Begenakhowa branch’s FD scheme in 2018. According to the scheme, he was supposed to get back an amount of Rs 6.5 lakh on maturity, in September 2021.
When he visited the SBI branch in Golaghat to withdraw the money in September 2021, to his utter surprise, he discovered that his deposit had allegedly disappeared into thin air.
Totally distraught, Sonowal asked the bank where the money had gone and how he could recover it as the money was kept in their care. He then went to the branch manager, hoping and praying that his money would be handed over to him, but here too, his appeals fell on deaf ears.
Dissatisfied with the response, and without any option, Sonowal went to the police station where he reported the case. Being left completely in the cold by the bank and with the police dragging their feet, he even reportedly met the District Superintendent of Police and the Golaghat Deputy Commissioner with a request to help him get his money back. He kept on running from pillar to post, but his efforts did not yield any result. The bank manager informed him that there was nothing the bank could do.
“I served in the Indian Army for 24 years and retired in 2016. In 2018, I opened a fixed deposit of Rs five lakh from my pension money. But when I went to the bank to withdraw the money after three years, I was told that it has already been withdrawn in 2020. I lodged a complaint with the police, wrote to the bank, and met the deputy commissioner but did not get my hard-earned money back. The bank authorities told me that the amount was withdrawn using an internet banking service. I have been using YONO on the bank’s advice. The bank now says they cannot do anything,” Sonowal said.
The helpless retired Indian Army personnel has now appealed to the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma to intervene and help him in getting his money back.
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