A pregnant woman in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district died on Thursday after she was allegedly crushed to death under a tractor by a loan recovery agent, PTI reported on Friday. The incident took place in the jurisdiction of the district’s Ichak police station.
The 27-year-old woman was the daughter of a farmer who has physical disabilities, according to ANI. She was three months pregnant.
According to the police, the farmer on Thursday received a message on his phone from private lender Mahindra Finance, asking him to pay Rs 1.3 lakh – the amount outstanding from a loan he had taken to purchase a tractor.
The vehicle was said to have been parked at a nearby petrol pump and company officials had threatened to take it away if the farmer did not pay the amount. District Superintendent of Police Manoj Ratan Chothe said that the farmer rushed to the petrol pump, but found that the agent was already driving the tractor away.
The farmer ran after the vehicle and told the official that he was willing to pay Rs 1.2 lakh immediately. However, the agent insisted on the entire outstanding amount in order to release the tractor, according to the police.
The 27-year-old woman also later ran after the tractor, and was crushed under its wheels, the superintendent of police said, according to PTI.
The police have filed a case of murder against four persons, including the recovery agent and a manager of Mahindra Finance.
After the woman died, a group of villagers held protests on Friday in front of the Hazaribagh collectorate. They demanded immediate arrest of the recovery agent and manager.
The protestors also sought a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the woman’s family. The agitation ended after the police told the demonstrators that the accused persons would be arrested soon.
Anish Shah, managing director and chief executive officer of the Mahindra Group, said in a statement that the company will provide all possible support to authorities during the investigation.
“A human tragedy has occurred,” Shah said. “We will investigate this incident from all aspects and will also undertake an examination of the practice of using third-party collection agencies that has been in existence...Above all, we stand with the family in this moment of grief.”