Bitti an intelligent, reserved man, say Madai residents

Bitti an intelligent, reserved man, say Madai residents

 For the residents of Madai, a rural village near Payangadi, about 22 km away from Kannur, the entire Bitti episode should not have made any difference but for the media glitz.

They wondered when three national channels from Mumbai flew down to their small hamlet to cover the “hideout”, where Bitti Mohanty had lived as an officer of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) on the alias Raghav Rajan from Andhra Pradesh. “We were shocked to know that the tall, reserved youth who has been very co-operative with bank customers is a rape convict and was living under cover’’, said Seythu Valappil Abdul Khader, a septugenarian who owns the two-storey Fathima Building where the SBT functions.

Bitti, along with the bank’s assistant manager, Abhishek Kumar from Bihar, lived in a house belonging to Khader, nearby.

“He was a reserved guy but looked intelligent. He went to live with Abhishek Kumar hardly a month ago. Never did he chat with me or anyone in the area other than on banking deals or rent”, Khader added. After Bitti’s arrest, even Abhishek Kumar is not staying there for fear of any backlash from the locals. Khader added that he would give his house for rent for banking personnel again as his contract is with the bank.
Balakrishnan, who runs a grocery and fruits shop in the same building recalls Bitti as the bank officer who always came to the shop asking for “one kilo banana or half kilo banana”.

The shopkeeper too does not have a different Bitti in memory, as he had never seen him jovial or anguished. Half a dozen of locals, whom Deccan Herald spoke to, also said they considered the very reserved young man to be an “intelligent” bank officer from Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile after the Bitti episode, the bank is in a fix. Their outstation staff is not getting residence nearby.

Though Branch Manager V Geetha was tight-lipped, other officials requesting anonymity said that locals were unwilling to rent out their accommodations now.
“An accountant was transferred here in place of Bitti, and we can’t find a place for him after the arrest”, one official confirmed.

The bank’s customers have a good word for Bitti who they saw as one who was hooked on to his work and nothing else. But they question the logic of bank authorities of appointing persons from Andhra Pradesh or Bihar to a remote town of Kerala, who do not know the local language which often causes the entire process to slow down.