The Amalapuram police on Tuesday arrested Venudhar Prasad, a member of an infamous 'rice pulling' gang, in connection with the suicide of doctor Ramakrishnam Raju and two of his family members. The doctor, his wife Lakshmi and son Krishna Sandeep had allegedly died by suicide at their residence in Amalapuram on August 30, due to severe financial problems. The couple have another son, who survived as he didn't reach home.
According to the police, Venudhar Prasad and his gang were found to have extorted Rs 5.5 crore from the doctor by luring him, and allegedly promised that he could double his wealth with the rice-pulling trick.
A rice-puller is a device commonly used by conmen, making people believe of its astounding magical properties in amassing quick wealth. They claim the rice-puller to be an ancient artefact made of copper and iridium, possessing astounding capabilities which include drawing grains of rice towards it.
According to reports, the gang extorted Rs 5.5 crore in multiple installments from the doctor, who runs a multi-speciality hospital, on the promise of providing the rice-pulling device. The gang told the doctor that they had some coins and rice which have supernatural powers and were in great demand abroad.
During their probe, the police discovered that the doctor had borrowed money from lenders at an interest rate as high as 10% to give money to the conmen. While the gang continued to extort him in the false hope of doubling his wealth, the doctor also faced pressure from the money lenders and fell into a debt trap.
The Amalapuram police, who presented the accused Venudhar Prasad before the media on Tuesday, also asked the public to not to fall in the trap of the rice-pulling and other gangs. The cops are on the lookout for the other three members of the fraud gang.
If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, consider reaching out to one of the following helplines:
Telangana government suicide prevention toll free number - 104
Roshni- 040-66202000, 66202001
SEVA- 09441778290, 040 - 27504682 (between 9 AM and 7 PM)
Life Suicide Prevention Helpline No.78930-78930
Helpline 1: 9166202000
Helpline 2: 9127848584
Sahai : 24-hour helpline numbers: 080- 65000111, 080-65000222
Maithri helpline - 0484-2540530
Chaithram helpline: 0484-2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State health department suicide helpline number - 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050