BENGALURU: "It is really ridiculous. Despite more than 50 complaints from people all around the city, having records of serious cheating complaints from other states, Bengaluru police choose to remain blind and deaf to our complaints?" asks Sahil who is one of the many people who have lost their money to one Kaliprasad Rath who has allegedly been cheating people by promising them houses on lease/rent and is managing to go scotfree each time.
Victims of Kalirath’s alleged fraud have not only formed a WhatsApp group to get their money back but now they also want to wage a war against the Bengaluru police's inaction on social media.
Shubham Pachori, another victim of the fraud took to twitter along with more than 40 others tagging Deputy Commissioner of Police, Southeast, "We (around 10 families) have been looted by a criminal Kali Prasad Rath in the name of room advance (around Rs 4.5 lakh). Despite, past criminal history, police is unwilling to take any action against him. Please listen to us and help us," he tweeted.
@DCPSEBCP Mam— Shubham Pachori (@shubh_300595) October 1, 2019
We (around 10 families) have been looted by a criminal kali Prasad rath in the name of room advance (around Rs 4.5 lakh). Despite, past criminal history, police is unwilling to take any action against him. Please listen to us and help us.
There are many who have been posting messages of being victims of this fraud on facebook and twitter.
Visveswar Jayson, a Markering professional put up a post, "Bangalore peeps, a friend of mine fell for rental scam run by a conman who goes by the name Kaliprasad. Police isn't helpful, presumably because they are in cahoots. I'm looking for local journalists/lawyers who could guide my friend about his next course of action. Please RT,"
He is also reportedly wanted by the Delhi and Pune police for duping a jeweller and IT professionals in Pune to the tune of crores of rupees.
Interestingly in 2018, Kaliprasad had reportedly duped more than 20 people and all of them together had formed a what’s app group them ‘Sacorooms Kali’ to track him down.
The group was led by a young woman lawyer who was also a victim.
However, while some of the cases are being fought in court many victims have lost hopes as police have allegedly failed to take any action despite complaining.
Now, the victims have planned to come together and raise a social media war against the police.
"We really want to spread this word like fire. We will make sure that the police take some action. If they fail to then it really shows that they are connived," said a victim.
According to Sahil, he had visited a 3 BHK apartment in Indiranagar which was under the rental company called ‘Whitton Hospitality’.
After agreeing to the terms Sahil allegedly deposited money of Rs 1.3 lakh after which Kali started avoiding his calls and telling "stories about the flat being on lease,"
"I got suspicious and checked with KBR Enterprises the actual owner of the building and they told me that they had so far not got into any agreements with Kali," it was then that he realised he had been duped and went to HSR Layout police station seeking for help.
"Everyone there seems to know about Kali, they did tell that they knew about him. Then I lodged a complaint with Indiranagar police station," Sahil said.
Interestingly, the police has only given a NCR and have not yet lodged a FIR which according to victims is the standard procedure which police have been doing in Kali’s case.
A NCR is a non-cognizable report filed when something is lost, as opposed to filing an FIR when something is stolen.
"Police only register NCR and don’t do an FIR. This is not the first time. It looks like they are hand in glove with him," said a victim on condition of anonymity.
Kaliprasad Rath is the director of Flintex Consulting Private Limited and Whittington Hospitality which operates under the brand name ‘Sacorooms’.
Through his Facebook page, Sacorooms, he has tied up with several booking agencies who look for places for short term stays.
"Most of his customers are from reputed booking sites. He shows them the houses, says he will furnish it and then hand it over. But after collecting the advance from them he manages to give a slip to both the owner as well as the tenant," Goutam A, another victim who has lost around Rs 75,000.
The victims claim that he doesn’t get scared to come to the police station when summoned.
He apparently writes out a cheque in front of the police and then makes stop payments. There are nearly six of them who have such cheques in possession.
Not just one case
Kali is wanted in a cheating case in Delhi where he has cheated a jeweller of Rs 5 lakh.
In 2014, he escaped from the custody of Delhi police, while they were staying in a lodge near Pune Railway Station.
Police Sub-inspector Pavankumar Mallik from the District Investigation Unit, Delhi has lodged a complaint regarding this.
Speaking to TNIE Kaliprasad Rath said: "All the previous cases are in court and it is being handled. The recent ones which are in the station will be settled too. I don’t want to talk about the others whose cases I don’t know," he said.
When probed about several complaints and twitter messages he rubbished the claim and promised to call back the reporter. But he didn’t call till the newspaper went to print.
Bhaskar Rao, Bengaluru city Police Commissioner said, "Someone has to give the complaint to me in writing. If I get any such complaint I will immediately take action. One can’t blame the police without reaching to proper authorities. I will look into the matter."