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An elderly Indian man's life savings have been eaten by termites
An elderly Indian man's life savings have been eaten by termites in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, local media said on Tuesday.

In September 2005, Dwarika Prasad, a 65 year-old butter trader from Patna, the capital of Bihar, deposited cash and bonds worth some $16,000 as well as gold and silver jewelry in a Central Bank of India safety deposit box.

However, when he recently opened the box, he discovered that almost all the cash had been eaten by termites and the investment papers were "badly perforated."

"I had saved this money so that I could take care of myself. Now that I have lost everything, I have become penniless,'' Prasad told the national NDTV TV channel.

He also said that he had planned to spend the money on a piece of land and the construction of a house.

Bank officials refused to compensate Prasad for his loss, saying that a notice advising customers not to keep paper in bank vaults was displayed near the vault.

''If there are termites inside the locker, how would the bank authorities know as it is locked? Anti-termite pesticides can be sprayed only when the locker is opened,'' the TV channel quoted the bank's manager Y. P. Saha as saying.

He added that the bank was liable only when the locker was found broken or damaged.


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