Indian man accused of setting bank on fire after loan was rejected

Blaze destroyed some assets but cash, gold and other valuables were spared

A branch of the state-run Canara Bank. An Indian man has been arrested after a Canara Bank branch bank was set on fire. Getty
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Indian police have arrested a disgruntled charity worker accused of setting fire to a bank after his loan application was rejected.

Wasim Hazaratsab Mulla, 33, from Haveri in India's southern Karnataka state, approached state-run Canara Bank for a loan of 1.6 million rupees ($21,600) in December.

But Mr Mulla's application was denied after he failed to meet the bank's credit policy and over discrepancies in his paperwork, the bank said.

Police said he drove to the bank on a motorcycle on Sunday evening and broke open a window, before spraying a liquid inside and setting the building ablaze.

Residents raised the alarm after they saw plumes of smoke rising from the building. Mr Mulla was stopped by locals at the scene before the police were called.

“He was angry after his loan application was rejected. He sprayed some inflammable chemical, maybe petrol but we are investigating the matter,” Hanumantharaya, the top police officer of the district, told The National.

“He ran a non-governmental organisation. He wanted money for machines and had applied for a loan of 1.6 million rupees. Fortunately, no cash or gold or other valuables were destroyed,” Mr Hanumantharaya said.

Five computers, fans, passbook printers, cash counting machines and lights worth 1.2 million rupees were damaged in the fire, police said.

Mr Mulla has been charged with arson.

Updated: January 11, 2022, 12:08 PM