VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh police today said some operators allegedly involved in the 'call money' racket, wherein private lenders fraudulently usurped properties of loanees, have links "cutting across political parties" even as the police continued to conduct searches on money lending business houses and such operators across state.
"In Vijayawada, raids were conducted at 97 places and 57 operators picked up by the police (so far) who also seized a lot of promissory notes and blank cheques from them. The picked up operators have links with political parties and they are from all parties," Andhra Pradesh DGP J V Ramudu told reporters here.
A senior police official said police are questioning Buddha Nageswara Rao and Parameswari, brother and sister of Budda Venkateswara Rao, a TDP MLC, for their alleged role in the racket.
Meanwhile, city police commissioner D Goutam Sawang, who cracked down on the racketeers and arrested some persons, is going on a ten-day 'leave' "to spend time with his family members in the US".
However, the top cop added that Sawang's leave was sanctioned a month ago and has nothing to do with ongoing investigation into the case.
"This (the leave) is nothing extraordinary in it. He applied a month ago for leave and proceeding accordingly. His leave has no link with the ongoing investigation of 'call money'. Some other officer as good as Sawang will take over his charge," Ramudu said.
The local police had recently arrested nine persons for their alleged involvement in the racket amid reports that some of the lenders tried to sexually exploit the women loanees when they defaulted on repayment.
"Sexual harassment of women borrowers would be treated as a major crime. Besides, I (am) booking cases under Nirbhaya Act," the DGP added.
Explaining the crackdown, he said the police teams in some of the districts have seized bundles of documents, blank promissory notes and bank cheques. "Police are more interested in unearthing criminal involvement in call money or money lending," he added.
"We are conducting searches wherever there is a complaint. Without complaint we cannot do anything," Ramudu told PTI over phone.
In Vijayawada, raids were conducted at 97 places and 57 operators have been picked up by police so far, the DGP said.
Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, YSR Congress Party president and opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy today met Governor ESL Narasimhan and urged him to order a judicial probe into the call money racket.