Call money gangs, academics, and the capital: A gang war within Pedapadu village in Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati: Initially, moneylenders used to offer targeted individuals handsome loans for Rs 2 interest. Later, they would convert into Rs 10 interest. Over a period, they will acquire properties in their names, and would then register their sales by threatening the victims.

Popularly known as Bezawada Nayeem in the call money circles, he is a lecturer by profession. He is associated with money lending trade in the city limits, and he has started encouraging a group by the name ‘Bezawada’. They are into money lending, land grabbing and extortions by setting up his base in Pedapadu village near Amaravati.

“There used to be only one group in the village. They were into land grabbing and other anti-social activities,” a Sub Inspector of Police told News Meter on condition of anonymity. He added that the group split into Bezawada and Peteti following differences between their leaders. Nunna police had registered cases against both the gangs under sections 324, 147, 148, 384 and 506 of IPC, one and half years ago. The police had opened files against seven members of both gangs.

Both groups have been filing cases against each other; thus, there are around 40 complaints from both groups registered at Nunna police station in the last two years. “It’s a group war and has nothing to do with the call money trade,” another police officer clarified. Since Pedapadu is a hypersensitive village, police have been trying to restore peace by organising counselling between them from time to time.

Academics, real estate, money lending and gang wars are sailing together in the capital region. The gangs, aimed at getting easy money, have targeted the middle-class residents and the groups slowly grab them into their fold by offering cash for real estate purpose.

In this exercise, the gangs are utilising the services of the elite sections of society, who have their roots in the capital region. Pedapadu is one such village under the Nunna police station limits. Pedapadu locals allege that these gangs have a covert understanding with Bezawada Nayeem, the Hindi lecturer. Moreover, with the support of a personal assistant of a former minister, the groups are exerting pressure over police not to register cases against their members.

Speaking on the involvement of lecturers in call money issue, parents are questioning as to how the Commissionerate of Collegiate Education is not taking such incidents seriously.

Prabhakar Rao, a parent, and resident of Machavaram said, “This reminds us of the history of Vijayawada’s educational institutions some four decades ago, which had produced gangsters. Let that not be repeated.”

Patri Vasudevan

Patri Vasudevan, is a senior journalist, worked with both visual and print media. He has 22 years’ experience in journalism. He has expertise in war zone reporting. Covered LTTE stories in Sri Lanka, and Nandigram & Lalgarh are best assignments, during his stint with TV9 and Sakshi TV at New Delhi. Vasudevan also served Deccan Chronicle, and filed good number of political investigative stories. As an RTI activist, Vasudevan could able to elicit frauds in the banking sector, and wrote number of interesting stories on as to how parking funds are misused.

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