KOCHI: Tension prevailed at Edappally in Kochi today following a protest against the move of a private bank to attach the property of a woman who had stood surety for a loan of Rs. 2 lakh taken by her friend two decades ago, police said.
The people, assembled on the premises of Preetha Shaji's residence in support of her fight against the move, threatened to commit suicide by setting themselves on fire if the bank attaches her house and land worth around Rs. 2.5 crore, police said.
Some of them allegedly poured petrol on themselves but they were stopped from setting themselves afire by the firemen and the police.
Preetha had helped her friend get the loan and alleged that the bank did not yield though she offered to pay Rs. 50 lakh to the bank for the default, they added.
She said she has no other place to go if the bank decides to implement the court order to confiscate her property, the police said.
Alleging the role of the land mafia in the case, she said she would not leave the house.
State Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac said the government was with the woman in the case.
"The property should not be confiscated. The bank should discuss the matter with the government," Mr Issac said.
Thrikkakara MLA P T Thomas described as "inhuman" the move by the bank and said the protest has forced the bank to temporarily stop the confiscation.
He said the protest by the people would continue till the woman gets justice.