In a first, UP moneylenders booked under Gangsters Act

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Two money lenders and a middle man who drove a family to commit suicide in June this year, have now been booked under the Gangsters Act here.

Shahjahanpur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) S. Anand said, “It was an organised crime. Any crime committed by more than one person in an organised manner can attract Gangster Act charges. We want to send out a strong message.”

He further said, “We investigated the allegation and arrested them. They tried to get bail but we pursued the matter in court. This is the first time Gangster Act has been invoked against moneylenders in Shahjahanpur. We are taking complaints against predatory lenders seriously.”

The family of Akhilesh Gupta, 42, was a wholesale supplier of medicines, had left a suicide note implicating the lenders.

Akhilesh, his wife and two kids, 12 and 9, were found hanging on June 7.

Akhilesh had taken a loan of Rs 12 lakh but the interest piled up to Rs 37 lakh in two years.

A middleman, Avinash Bajpai, helped him secure a Rs 12-lakh loan from two lenders, Sushil Kumar Gupta and Mithilesh Kumar, at 15 per cent monthly interest.

Unable to repay the debt, Akhilesh sold his house, valued at about Rs 50 lakh, to Avinash and started living there as a tenant.

A few months later, Avinash sent him a legal notice to vacate the house and Avinash and his family finally ended their lives.

The lenders and the middleman were arrested for abetting their suicide.

Akhilesh’s cousin Shalu Gupta said the charges were ‘justified because they had made Avinash’s life miserable. We are happy the police have charged them under the Gangster Act’.

–IANS

amita/dpb