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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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EMI default drives trader to suicide

A 45-year-old businessman committed suicide on Friday allegedly for failing to pay instalments against a loan he took a year ago.

The body of Ashok Sharma, who owned a small furniture shop, was found dead in a room of his Bhootnath Road residence in Patna City in the morning. His wife, Anjan Devi, found Ashok hanging on entering the room around 9am.

“He slept alone last night. Around 9am, when his wife went to wake him up, she found him hanging. The door was not locked. Hearing her screams, other family members and neighbours rushed in. The Alamganj police were summoned after sometime,” Randhir Sharma, the brother-in-law of the deceased, told The Telegraph.

Ashok had taken a loan of Rs 5 lakh from a nationalised bank for buying equipment for cutting wooden logs. He was repaying the loan in equated monthly instalments (EMIs).

Randhir said Ashok was regular in paying the instalments till his daughter fell ill around four months ago.

“Ashok has two sons and two daughters, all school-going children. Around four months ago, Ashok had to spend a lot of money on the treatment of his youngest daughter, Nutan (8). Thereafter, he could not pay the monthly instalments against the loan. The bank started sending him letters, causing a lot of unrest in the family,” Randhir said.

Ashok had told his wife several times that he was under “severe stress” as he was not being able to repay the loan amount. But he behaved normally on Thursday night. “He spoke to his wife and children as usual. Ashok told Anjan that he would sleep alone on the ground floor. There was no reason to feel that he would take the drastic step,” Randhir said.

The police said the body had been sent for post-mortem. “At present, we don’t suspect any foul play. The police would investigate and find out if the bank was exerting extra pressure such as sending men for loan recovery,” an officer at Alamganj police station said.