120% per annum on loans: how usurers “kill” people in small towns

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MEERUT: 42-year-old Ahilesh Gupta was a small pharmacist in Shahjahanpur who wanted two things – build his own house and expand his business. He did not have the money he needed and did not get approval for a loan from the bank. He approached an informal moneylender and borrowed 12 lakhs. He knew the loan was a risky compromise, but at the time it seemed like the only option, even with the outrageous 120% annual interest rate he was charging.

In two years of exhausting work and cutting corners, he managed to pay the moneylender 37 lakhs. However, the principal remained unchanged. On June 7, Akhilesh, his wife Rishu, 39 years old, their son, 12 years old, and their daughter, 9 years old, were found hanged in their house.

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