Special Correspondent

Criminal cases to be booked

  • Sections to vary depending on nature of harassment
  • State Ministers appeal to ryots not to commit suicide

    HYDERABAD: Criminal cases will be booked hereafter against private money-lenders found harassing farmers for recovery of loans advanced at high interest rate.

    The specific sections of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) under which these cases are to be filed, however, will vary depending on the nature and degree of harassment.

    First case booked

    The first case in the State against a money-lender was booked recently in Warangal district where a farmer resorted to suicide unable to bear the harassment.

    Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy and Revenue Minister D. Prasada Rao said this was yet another step taken by the Rajasekhara Reddy Government for the welfare of farmers. It had also impressed upon commercial banks to clear the loans taken from money-lenders at reasonable interest rates.

    Extreme step

    They appealed to the farmers not to resort to extreme step but bring the problems faced by them to the notice of the officials for a solution. "We will stand by you," they said.

    Rebutting the Telugu Desam Party's charge that suicides were on the rise again due to faulty policies, Mr Reddy asserted that the farmers were very happy now. Admitting that there was a case of one suicide this month, he said this itself showed that the suicides registered a drastic fall.

    Suicide cases

    He said there were six suicides each in June and July last before they rose to 17 to 19 during the next four months. The number fell to nine in December.

    He said the present Government differed basically from the Telugu Desam regime because it admitted the truth instead of hiding it. There were 1,659 suicides since May 2004 when the Congress Government took over and compensation was paid in 1,603 cases.

    The Telugu Desam, in contrast, kept people in the dark about the suicides. It rendered help in 1,517 cases based on the FIRs and post-mortem reports.