THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city police have initiated a crackdown on private banks and finance companies which employ thugs to recover loans from defaulters.
The Supreme Court had deplored the crude practice recently and ruled that recovery of loans be made only through legal means.
A significant number of people, who failed to repay loans in time, endured beatings, threats and public humiliation from musclemen on the payroll of private banks. Most of them suffered their ordeal in silence and rarely reported the excesses to the police.
Financial disputes, chiefly regarding non-payment of vehicle and housing loans, have resulted in kidnappings, forcible occupation of homes, illegal eviction, extortion and appropriation of private property in the district.
City Police Commissioner M.R. Ajith Kumar said the police had taken decisive action wherever there were specific complaints. The police had been directed to collect information on such gangs operating in the city, he said.