Prajapati says he somehow managed to raise Rs 80,000 and handed it over to the moneylender within a year. He also got other villagers to request Ranpal to waive the rest of his dues.
But the moneylender not just refused to do so, he asked for another Rs 37,000, which meant he now owed a total of Rs 1.17 lakh rupees for a loan of just Rs 50,000.
It’s not clear when the mobile phone video was shot, but police sources say it’s from a few days ago when the moneylender called Prajapati to his home demanding an explanation on his money.
In the footage, Prajapati is mostly silent as he is hit repeatedly on his face and shoulders, and abuses are heaped on him. Occasionally he whimpers, asking for more time. But the beatings get even more vicious.
The moneylender apparently had the video filmed and shared it with others who had taken loans from him – as a warning to potential defaulters. He has been arrested by the police after the video went viral.
“We got to know of the video after it went viral. We have sent the moneylender to jail for now and we will proceed against him under the relevant sections of the law that deal with assault and intimidation,” said Ajay Sahdev, a senior police officer in Muzaffarnagar.
Over 30 percent of Uttar Pradesh’s population lives below the poverty line, or is counted among India’s poorest. Many of them are caught in a vicious cycle of loans and credit.
With the penetration of banking institutions still inadequate, many poor people in villages are trapped by private moneylenders who try to extort massive interests.
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