Hyderabad: On the night of 15 September, Sameena Bee called it a day when she received a text message. It said Rs. 10,000 had been withdrawn from her account from an ATM. But Sameena still had the debit card with her.
This came as a blow for the 28-year-old mother of two who had, after a long struggle, managed to save Rs. 20,300 to make ends meet. Sameena has been living in a rented home after her husband left her and remarried. She works as a teacher at a private school but due to the pandemic, the school is closed, leaving her with no source of income.
She went to check her bank balance and found that another Rs. 10,000 had been withdrawn. Next morning, She went to the bank to complain about the withdrawals but the bank manager told her that she must have misplaced her debit card. She insisted she still had the card with her and that someone else was making those withdrawals. She requested the bank to block her card.
The bank manager asked her to go to the local police station and file a complaint. Also, he told her that her card would be blocked only after 24 hours.
Sameena went to the Balapur police station to lodge a complaint. There she was asked to go to the Malakpet police station since the withdrawals happened in the Malakpet area. In the meantime, the remaining Rs. 300 in her account was also withdrawn.
She reached the Malakpet police station but they asked her to go to Balapur station. She went back there but the police personnel took no action. They finally asked her to write a complaint. The Balapur police then asked her to approach the Rachakonda cyber crime police.
“I would use only Rs. 50 per day to survive in this pandemic with my kids. I am paying Rs. 3,500 as rent. Now, I don’t have any money and I don’t know how I am going to survive,” said Sameena.
“I don’t have any source of income. For many people, Rs. 20,300 is not such a big amount but for me, that was everything. It was my life's savings, my kid's food, and my day-to-day living expenses. I am just asking the police to speed up the investigation,” added Shameena.
Mohammad Shafi, a social activist who is helping Sameena, said, “She complained to the Rachakonda cyber crime police but they are not responding. The money was withdrawn from an SBI ATM. The police said they have written to the SBI asking for the CCTV footage but they have not received any. This has slowed down the investigation.”