Harassed by online lending app operators, Hyderabad man commits suicide

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

Harassment by operators of an online loan application is believed to have led a youngster to suicide in Hyderabad. Unable to bear the harassment from app operators, Rajkumar committed suicide 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 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, committed suicide 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 died by 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 busted 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 shaming them.

Read: Made in China: How the instant loan app racket exploded in India

If you know someone who has mental health issues or is feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some hotline numbers for suicide prevention organizations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State Health Department Suicide Hotline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Center – 044-24640050 (listed as the only suicide prevention hotline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Suicide prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahaï (24 hours a day): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala

Maitri: 0484 2540530

Chaitram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24 hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State Government Suicide Prevention (toll-free): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.)

Aasara provides support for individuals and families during an emotional crisis, those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and those experiencing trauma following the suicide of a loved one.

24/7 hotline: 9820466726

Click on here for work helplines across India.

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