The call money scandal that is currently shaking Andhra Pradesh is not a new phenomenon to the Telugu States. You touch any town in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it has a gory tale to tell. The atrocities include kidnaps, sexual exploitation and grabbing of properties besides charging 60 to 200 per cent and more interest rates by the organised and unorganised lenders in the region.
In all, 29 political leaders from the Congress, the TDP, the CPI, the YCP have been taken into custody.
Going by the latest information in the scandal, 10 leaders each from the Congress and the YSR Congress party, one CPI and eight ruling Telugu Desam party activists were among the 57 call money organisers taken into custody by police in the surprise raids conducted in the city on Tuesday.
Several men along with property and other documents were taken into custody across A.P.
“We seized 938 promissory notes, 192 blank cheques, eight stamp papers, 25 account books, 310 property documents, agreement papers and registration papers of different assets mortgaged by the call money organisers,” said Vijayawada Police Commissioner Gowtam Sawang.
Police Commissioner goes on leave
The top leaders in the government and police department are talking tough and vow to bring the culprits to book. Yet, in a novel twist, the Commissioner of Police is going on a nine-day leave, just two days after the scandal broke out, and the department is inching towards the kingpins in the case. However, State DGP J.V. Ramudu was quick to clarify that, “CP’s leave was sanctioned last month. Mr. Surendrababu is the temporary CP.”
For the record, call money is an instant and high interest loan available over a call through flexible process where the lender comes home with money, promissory note and other documents which are favourable to lender. In case the borrower is unable to repay, vehicles, houses and other movable and immovable properties are demanded as a guarantee.
Vijayawada police on Saturday unearthed the racket in which government officials and political leaders are a party. A senior official from power department was suspended for his alleged involvement. According to sources, hundreds of women were sexually exploited besides close relatives being kidnapped and properties being grabbed. The police have booked cases under sections under cheating, extortion, rape sexual harassment and defamation under IPC. The government is also planning to book the accused under Nirbhaya Act.
Not long ago in 2011, the irregularities of massive proportion led to a new regulatory regime and A.P. Microfinance Regulation Act was brought into control the irresponsible lending in the united A.P. The development caused a whopping Rs. 5,000 crore-loss to micro-finance industry as the ruling Congress as well as the Opposition TDP have asked the customers not to repay.