Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The suicide by a couple in Bhopal after poisoning their two kids on Thursday as they were being harassed by mobile loan app operators has once again brought into focus the illegal ways in which these people extract money from those who have taken loans through these apps.
In Indore too, on August 23, 2022, Amit Yadav and his wife committed suicide after killing their two kids after the harassment by the loan app operators became unbearable. Amit had taken a loan from an unregistered mobile loan app.
In another case around six months ago, a youth committed suicide in Bhanwarkuan as he was being harassed by loan operators. The Bhanwarkuan police registered a case against unknown persons under Section 306 of IPC a couple of days back.
Apart from these deaths, numerous complaints are lying with the police. In the past six months, the city crime branch has received more than a dozen complaints against these mobile loan app operators.
The city police had claimed a few months ago that they had caught some accused running illegal mobile loan apps. They had arrested some people from Delhi, but that has not deterred others and incidents of loan app fraud have not decreased.
People Fear Ignominy
The fear of ignominy prevents many people from coming forward. If the person does not pay what these criminals demand, these operators morph photographs of the victims with sexually explicit photos and videos and send them to their family and friends.
In a recent case, a youth named Rahul, a resident of Bhagirathpura had taken a loan from a mobile app a few months ago. He started receiving messages from the lender to repay the full loan amount. When he expressed his inability to repay the loan, the miscreant started sending obscene photos to his family members, relatives and colleagues. Rahul was upset and even thought of committing suicide. He complained to the local police station but he did not get any help. Finally, the crime branch officers took his written complaint and managed to arrest three persons from Delhi for harassing him.
Threatening Calls From Loan Operators
A sales executive named Apoorv Sharma from Jabalpur received threatening calls from a person, who made a phone call from the number +92 (ISD code of Pakistan) to him. Apoorv informed Free Press that on Friday, he received a link on his mobile phone. When he opened the link, he received a call from a person, who informed him that he (Apoorv) had taken a loan and he had to repay the same today. The caller threatened him that if he does not repay the loan, the accused would circulate his objectionable photos to his family members and relatives. Apoorv informed the police that he had not taken any loan but the accused had accessed his contact details and he was threatening him.
Neti Upadhyay, state head of a well-known company also received a phone call from the number starting with +92 on Friday and the caller informed him that his friend had taken a loan and that he should tell his friend to repay the same otherwise he (the caller) would circulate his objectionable photos with his friends and family members.
HM Urged Centre To Ban Loan Apps
After the Bhopal incident, Home minister Narottam Mishra urged the centre to ban the online loan app due. He also said that the Bhopal incident would be investigated by a Special Investigation Team.
What They Say
Before borrowing a loan from any mobile app, people should check the information about the financing company on the internet to avoid such incidents. People should always trust the registered apps from the RBI. No matter how good the terms and conditions are, before taking any kind of loan, it is necessary to check the facts of the concerned app.
- Varun Kapoor, additional director general of police, Indore
We have received more than a dozen complaints against the loan apps in the past six months. However, we have arrested three persons from Delhi in connection with an app loan fraud a few months ago and they had confessed to dupe many people in the country. The investigation is underway to identify other accused soon.
- Nimish Agrawal, deputy commissioner of police (crime), Indore