Tambaram police have launched a search for a couple who are alleged to have cheated several young men and women by taking huge sums under the pretext of providing them jobs in the software field after thorough training.
Speaking to reporters, the young men and women, many of whom are from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and the rest from engineering colleges in Chennai and its suburbs, said they got to know from neighbours and friends especially their seniors that the company — Krishnamurthy Info Services (KM Info Services), based in Tambaram — had announced its plans of recruiting fresh engineering graduates, train them in web design and then absorb them in the company for a decent monthly salary. The youth said they paid a deposit of anywhere between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 60,000. A graduate of SV College of Engineering and Technology, Chittoor, said he paid Rs. 25,000 in May and had borrowed a considerable amount of money for his relocation to Chennai and other initial expenses.
They were given training in HTML and other applications related to web design by graduates who had completed their studies last year and who had joined as trainees recently. In the past few months, the trainees did not receive a stipend. Nor did the staff members receive their monthly salaries.
The youth said they had grown suspicious in the past couple of weeks and realised their fears were true after some of some of the staff raised an issue with the owners, Venugopal Sharma and his wife Leena, last week. Since then, they were not seen and on Friday, the staff and trainees gathered outside the office.
Tambaram policemen pacified the agitated youth. A section of the staff and the trainees lodged a formal complaint at the police station, where a case (cheating and dishonestly inducing property) has been registered under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Police said efforts to reach the couple were futile. All they knew was that they hailed from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. Further investigations are on, police said, adding that it would be decided later if Tambaram police would pursue the case or if it would be transferred to Central Crime Branch.
The firm was started by Venugopal in the name of his father, Krishnamurthy, the youth said. The company’s website (krishnamurthyinfo.com) is vague and does not give any information about the people behind it.