Branded loan defaulter, Hyderabad techie hangs self to death

When Panditi Sunil could not repay the loan, loan sharks began harassing him, his family members and even circulated his pictures and details to all his contacts, branding him as a fraud.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

HYDERABAD: In a latest case of harassment by micro loan app organisers, a techie died by suicide at Rajendranagar. 28-year-old Panditi Sunil, who had lost his job during the pandemic, had availed loans in small denominations from multiple loan apps.

When he could not repay the loan, they began harassing him, his family members and even circulated his pictures and details to all his contacts, branding him as a fraud. Unable to bear the harassment, Sunil killed himself. Police who had earlier registered a case under Sec 174 CrPC, are now altering the charges to Abetment to Suicide against the loan App organisers.

G Suresh, Inspector Rajendranagar police station said that prima facie inquiries revealed that Sunil availed loans from several micro loan apps during the past few months. As he could not repay the loans, the organisers started calling his family and friends, demanding repayment.

 "We are in the process of locating the origin of these loan apps and are also gathering information on the amount of loans he had availed. Based on the information, the investigation will proceed," he said.

Lost job due to pandemic

Sunil, who hailed from Guntur district, had been working as a techie in Hyderabad and residing at Rajendranagar with his wife Ramya. During the pandemic, he lost his job and he went back to Guntur.

His wife delivered a male child five months ago, after which they returned to the city looking for a job. Inquiries revealed that recently he was hired by another software firm and he was supposed to report this week. Meanwhile, the micro loan app representatives started calling him for repayment.

As he could not repay, they called his wife, mother at home, and friends also informing that he was a loan defaulter. On Wednesday, Sunil hanged himself at his home. On his wife’s complaint, Rajendranagar police registered a case on Thursday.

Over 50 persons approach cops

There are six cases registered with Hyderabad Cybercrime wing, three with Cyberabad Cybercrime wing, and one case with the Rachakonda Cybercrime wing.  Over 50 persons have approached the Rachakonda Cybercrime wing with complaints against the mobile apps. Most of them have availed a loans of around Rs 5,000 through, some of them availed amounts of smaller denominations from several apps.  Rachakonda Cybercrime found that in one case, the victim availed Rs 8 lakh, but was forced to repay Rs 11 lakh

Sensitive data misused by apps

The app companies are collecting sensitive data such as contacts, photos, locations and phone memory from the mobile phones of the customers and using it to defame or blackmail the customers to get the repayment, a release from the Telangana DGP office said.

Two more persons who killed themselves, earlier, due to harassment have been identified as Eddu Srawan Yadav, 23, resident of Narsapur, Medak, was harassed by UU Cash, and Kirni Mounika, 28, resident of Rajagopalpet, Siddipet, was harassed by Snap It.

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call AASRA's 24x7 Helpline: +91-9820466726 for assistance)

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The New Indian Express