Police take proactive steps to end usury menace


The Bodinayakkanur sub-division police who opened an anti-usury cell early this year are showing the desired results.

Though there are laws to tackle the usury menace, poor people fall prey to this practice. Over the last five months, 52 petitions were received at the DSP’s office from persons who had borrowed loans for higher rates of interest.

Out of the nine police stations in the sub-division, Bodi Taluk, Bodi Town and Chinnamanur stations had higher number of complaints, said DSP Parthiban.

A team of officers in his jurisdiction was given the task of conducting enquiries and take action. “Today there are no complaints,” he said.

The police said that the borrowings were between ₹ 10,000 and ₹ 20 lakh. The irony was that many borrowers did not even know the rates of interest. For instance, a roadside fruit vendor had taken a ₹ 10,000 loan for which the lender had given ₹ 9,000 in cash after taking ₹1,000 as interest. Every day, the borrower had to pay ₹ 100 for 100 days.

In another complaint, a borrower had registered his immovable property in the name of the lender as if he had sold it. The understanding was that the property would be returned after full repayment. But this never happened. When the complaint was examined, the police were convinced that the borrower had settled in full.

In many complaints, borrowers could not repay due to the pandemic. The lenders had demanded penal interest. They came to the police, who summoned both the petitioner and the borrower. When the lender agreed to waive the interest and penal interest, the borrower accepted to pay the principal.

For the borrowers, they were freed from the mental agony. For the lenders, it was a lesson learnt not to harass the borrowers as the police explained the laws.

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