Harassment by online loan app drives another man to suicide

Hyderabad: Harassment by operators of an online loan app has led a youngster to suicide in Hyderabad.

Unable to bear the harassment of app operators, Rajkumar hanged himself on Monday at his home in Jiyaguda, within the confines of Kulsumpura police station, police said on Tuesday.

The family of Rajkumar, a private employee, told police that he took Rs 12,000 through an online loan app and repaid Rs 4,000 through EMIs.

While taking the loan, the youngster had given contact numbers of friends as a reference. As he failed to repay the remaining amount, the app organizers sent messages to his friends.

Rajukumar, who felt humiliated, hung himself from a ceiling fan when no one was home. On a complaint filed by his mother, the police registered a file and resumed the investigation.

The latest incident has come to light even as Greater Hyderabad Police have stepped up a crackdown on online loan applications lately after new cases of harassment were reported.

Last year, six people committed suicide in Telangana due to harassment by agents hired by instant loan apps.

As many as 50 cases of harassment have been reported from Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda Police Stations which cover Hyderabad and its environs. Some of the apps were found linked to Chinese nationals.

In many cases, agents demanded more money even after customers paid dues. According to the police, the messages sent to the references given by the customers when taking loans and the threats led to the suicides.

Last month, Hyderabad police closed a fraud case linked to a loan application run by a Chinese national in Bengaluru. Police had arrested two Karnataka residents who ran a call center and offered loans through six loan applications under the supervision of a Chinese national.

In February, debt collectors on a loan application falsely labeled a man a rapist in order to force him to repay the loan.

According to police, in the majority of reported cases, officers sent messages to clients’ families and friends naming and humiliating them.

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