A total of five people in the state have lost their lives as a result of harassment by money lenders.
The Telangana High Court on Thursday ordered Police Director General Mahender Reddy to take immediate action to block illegal instant loan applications. The court said police should take strong action to verify loan applications engaging in illegal practices. A division bench, led by Chief Justice Hima Kohli, has led a petition calling for action against borrower harassment applications.
Lawyer Kalyan Deep, who filed the petition, argued for strict measures against the apps because their harassment leads to suicides among borrowers. The court also asked the DGP to submit a report on the activities of the loan applications and the actions taken against them. He also requested a report from the police commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda on the cases recorded in the loan applications scam.
It was towards the end of December that Telangana police began cracking down on illegal instant loan applications following the suicide of five people.
The latest suicide was that of a victim identified as G Chandra Mohan, 36, a resident of Gundlapochampally in Ranga Reddy district. Mohan, a father of three, was found dead at his home on January 2. According to reports, Chandra Mohan had taken out several loans from several money lending applications for an amount of Rs 60,000 to 70,000 in October and had defaulted.
As Chandra Mohan could not repay the debt, he was harassed by lenders who threatened to shame him as a “fraud” to his family and friends in his contact list. Money lenders have access to the borrower’s contact list once they install these illegal money lending apps.
Police chief Mahender Reddy said 50 cases had been recorded in connection with instant loan applications.
Over the past month, more than 30 defendants, including four Chinese nationals, have been arrested by police in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda, the three police stations that cover Greater Hyderabad.
The first arrests were made on December 22 during police crackdowns in Hyderabad and Cyberabad against five call centers in Hyderabad and Gurugram. Police discovered during their investigations that companies offered small loans through different apps and collected repayments in the form of harassment and blackmail.
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