The police crackdown on illegal moneylending nets in only a few small fry instead of the loan sharks

Operation Kuberan, the moniker given to the police crackdown on loan sharks and illegal moneylenders, is in full swing, in the city and across the State, spurred by the alleged suicide of five members of a family near Mannanthala.

But then, this is not the first time that a suicide has triggered such crackdowns. In November last year, 27-year-old Sharath and his wife, Seenu, 25, of Panachammoodu near Vellarada had allegedly taken their own lives after being brought under immense pressure, allegedly by loan sharks in that area. That time too, the rural police had stepped out onto the money-lending street, codenaming the operation ‘Kuberan II’ after yet another similar operation a few months earlier. Several raids, seizures of unaccounted money and scores of documents, collected from debtors as collateral for high-interest loans extended to them, were the result.

Now, a little over six months after ‘Kuberan II’, if the police had to launch Operation Kuberan again, that too after a mass suicide, that should speak volumes on the impact of previous such operations, not to forget the city version that was called Operation Blade that had at least three editions in two years.

The nets cast by the police appears to be barely enough to catch single small-time piranhas and not for the great white sharks out there.

Diamonds are forever

They say diamonds are forever. But not diamond dealers. That is what the story of Hari Hara Varma tells us. Apart from what it left unsaid, that is.

What we know, from police files, is that Varma was allegedly involved in what was about to be a secret sale of precious diamonds, and that somewhere along while the deal was shaping up, he was strangulated. Five youngsters, who have now been sentenced to life for the crime, were also told that the diamonds they allegedly carried out the murder for, were not entirely what they seemed to be. The case, which was based on the December 2012 murder, is slowly being closed after the sentence. The youngsters are on their way to jail, and maybe, any further legal battles they might fight to free themselves. But what will remain to puzzle the accused, the police and the public is the true identity of Hari Hara Varma.

A royal link that has been denied by the royals themselves, dubious education documents, a wife who does not know much about her late husband’s past and a large cache of diamonds which have serious questions hovering over their genuineness. Varma, it appears, has taken more secrets along with him to the other world than those known in the real world.