Allegedly harassed by app-based finance firm, Telangana govt official dies by suicide

The official's family said the app-based finance firm had sent messages to all her contacts on her phone, alleging she has defaulted on the repayment of the loan.
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A 24-year-old woman government officer allegedly died by suicide in Siddipet district, allegedly because she was upset that an app-based lender, from whom she had taken a loan, sent messages to all her contacts on her phone, alleging she has defaulted on the loan repayment, the police said on Thursday. The woman, who reportedly borrowed around Rs 3 lakh over a period of time from the online loan app firm, died at a hospital on Wednesday, they said.

According to the woman's parents and relatives, she took the loan as the family was facing some financial problems, but the firm sent messages to her phone contacts, including her friends, stating she was not repaying the loan.

The victim, identified as K Mounika 24, a newly-recruited Agricultural Extension Officer (AEO) in Siddipet, had reportedly taken the loan for personal purposes. On the reported delay of payment of the loan, the company branded her as a defaulter and allegedly sent messages with her photo and name to her contacts and on social media. 

"By sending such messages, the firm described her as "defaulter" and defamed her due to which she got hurt and took her own life," a relative told a TV channel. The family also alleged that the defaming messages to her contacts have led to the extreme step taken by the young officer. 

A case has been registered, the police added. State Minister for Finance T Harish Rao on learning of the incident said that he would direct the police to initiate action against app-based finance firms as per the laws for exploiting those vulnerable. He visited the family of the victim at Rajagopalpet of Nagunur mandal in the district. 

Several apps claiming to be instant loan enablers are reaching out to people, especially digitally educated youngsters with small scale jobs with high-interest rates. The applications apparently seek access to the photos and contacts of the person at the time of installing it before availing the loan. 

(With inputs from PTI )


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