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Bullied online by money-lending app company, Chennai man kills self

This is what happened in the case of 23-year-old Sai Aravind, an IT professional from Chennai, who died by suicide unable to cope with pressure exerted by money lenders.

Published: 25th November 2020 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2020 02:10 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: On the one side, the pandemic has pushed many in the working middle-class to the brink of economic crises. On the other, a crop of new-age financial companies is pushing these people into massive debts. This is what happened in the case of 23-year-old Sai Aravind, an IT professional from Chennai, who died by suicide unable to cope with pressure exerted by money lenders.

Aravind had taken a loan from money-lending app Rupee Bazaar, but he could not return the sum within the allotted time. What happened next was full-scale cyber-bullying by the otherwise soft-spoken lenders, allege the friends and family of Aravind. “As part of the formality to obtain a loan, Aravind had given the app access to all the contacts in his phone,” says a friend.

ALSO READ | Easy online loans land customers in vicious loop

When Aravind could not return the money, the lenders allegedly started calling random numbers in his contacts list and harassing them. At times, they intimidated and used derogatory words on Aravind and his contacts, alleges the friend. Express has accessed screenshots from his phone that show how the company had created multiple WhatsApp groups with the title “Aravind is a fraud” and put up his pictures in it to pressure him to return the money.

On Monday, Aravind was found hanging dead from the ceiling of his room by his father. A few weeks ago, Aravind is understood to have complained to the Adambakkam police about the cyber-harassment that he was facing from his money-lending company. However, no action has been taken. Today, they seemed to have booked his suicide as a case of suspicious death, causing outrage. 

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)



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