Torture of online lending app operators drives Hyderabad man to suicide

Hyderabad: A young man in Hyderabad has committed suicide after being harassed by online loan service operators. Rajkumar killed himself Monday at his home in Jiyaguda, within the jurisdiction of Kulsumpura Police Station, unable to handle harassment from app operators, police said.

Rajkumar, a private employee, took a loan of Rs 12,000 on an online loan application and repaid Rs 4,000 in EMI, according to his family. The youngster had provided contact details of friends as a reference when applying for the loan. The app organizers sent messages to his friends when he failed to repay the remaining amount.

Rajkumar, humiliated, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan when no one was home. The police filed a complaint and opened an investigation after receiving a complaint from her mother.

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The latest incident came as Greater Hyderabad Police recently stepped up a crackdown on online loan applications in response to fresh reports of harassment.

Six people committed suicide in Telangana last year after being harassed by agents recruited by quick loan apps.

The police commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda, which include Hyderabad and its environs, reported 50 cases of harassment. Some of the apps were discovered to be linked to Chinese nationals.

Even after clients settled their debts, agents often wanted more money. Messages to references provided by clients when taking out loans, as well as threats, have contributed to the suicides, police say.

A fraud case involving a loan application run by a Chinese national in Bengaluru was uncovered by Hyderabad police last month. Two Karnataka residents were arrested for operating a contact center and selling loans through six loan applications under the supervision of a Chinese national.

In February, employees of the loan recovery app falsely labeled a guy a rapist to force him to repay the loan.

According to police, officers sent communications to family and friends of clients naming and embarrassing them in the majority of cases investigated.

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