Anantapur: Three girl students of a private degree college attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills on Wednesday night in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh after they were being harassed by the notorious call money racket.

The students were found unconscious at the Anantapur Bus Complex in the wee hours of Thursday. They are being treated at a government hospital.

Reports said the girls, who are pursuing second year BSc at Saikrupa Degree College in Dharmavaram, had borrowed Rs 20,000 from a private moneylender, B Mahesh.

Sources said the interest rates on the loan is between 120 percent and 200 percent. The trio has been paying Rs 5,000 as interest per week for the past two months. However, Mahesh had been allegedly harassing them to return the principal immediately. He also allegedly threatened them.

A few days back, the students ordered 90 sleeping pills through an e-commerce site. On Wednesday, they went to college but didn’t return home. Instead, the girls headed for Anantapur where they consumed the sleeping pills and fell unconscious at the RTC Complex.

Based on a complaint from the girls’ parents, the Dharmavaram police have registered a case against Mahesh. The police said the girls had consumed sleeping pills of lower strength. Their condition is said to be stable.

According to locals, private moneylenders make loans readily available on the basis of phone calls but at high-interest rates. The moneylender comes to the borrower’s doorstep with the cash and a promissory note. The lender can demand the money back over the phone at any time. If the borrower can’t repay, his or her life and property are at risk, they said.

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