A 36-year-old man, who attempted suicide over alleged harassment by microloan lending app companies, died five days later while undergoing treatment in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, police said.
He passed away on the evening of December 23 at King George Hospital. Following a complaint from his friend, NTPC Police Station in Telangana’s Ramagundam has now registered a case under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC and started an investigation.
DNM Santosh Kumar, a native of Visakhapatnam, had attempted suicide at his rented house at Malkapur of Ramagundam on December 18.
Before that, the police said, Kumar had recorded a video in which he said he was resorting to the extreme step because of unbearable harassment and humiliation over repayment of loans”.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Peddapalli, P Ravinder said that Santosh Kumar lived alone and He worked as a site in-charge at SL Trans, engaged in Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited.
“He had initially taken a loan through a mobile app and repaid it too. Subsequently, he took loans from a few more apps and was unable to repay them. Some people from the app companies had been harassing him,” the DCP said.
Kumar’s friend Subramaniam, who has lodged a complaint, said Kumar had taken loans from digital lending apps like Udhaar Loan App, Rufilo Loan App, Reepay Loan App, AAA Loan App, and Loan Gran App.
All the loans put together amounted to Rs 51,176, he said.
On the evening of December 18, Subrahmaniam, who received the selfie video from Kumar, quickly informed the latter’s neighbour who moved him to a private hospital in Godavarikhani town and later shifted him to Karimnagar for better treatment. Kumar was shifted to King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam by his family members on December 21. He passed away two days later.
“We are yet to ascertain the total amount of loan he availed and had to repay. We are investigating the matter and will take action,” the DCP added.
Three cases of suicide allegedly due to harassment over repayment of app-based microloans have come to light across Telangana so far. The victims of such apps include an unemployed techie, an agriculture extension officer, and a farmer. Cracking down on the operations of such digital lending platforms that operate with or without tie-ups with Non-Banking Financial Companies(NBFCs), dozens of cases are currently being investigated across the state.
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