A 26-year-old man was arrested in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh in connection with a case in which a pregnant woman died after she was allegedly run over with a tractor by loan recovery agents, police said on Monday, 19 September.
A search is on for the other accused in this incident, which took place on 15 September, a senior official said.
"We arrested accused Roshan Singh alias Roshan Kumar Deo, 26, son of Pradeep Deo, village Punai under Daru police station of Hazaribagh district under sections 302/34 of the IPC in connection with Ichak PS case no 172/22 of September 16," Superintendent of Police Manoj Ratan Chothe told PTI.
He added that Roshan is a "third party vendor engaged by a finance company."
Roshan is an employee of a firm called Team Lease, which is hired by Mahindra Finance
Special Investigation Team Constituted To Investigate
The Superintended of Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case. The team is being headed by deputy Superintended of Police (HQ) Rajiv Kumar.
"Roshan is among the four named in the FIR filed after the death of Monika Devi," Dhananjay Singh, the officer incharge of Ichak police station, said.
A family member of the deceased by the name of Narayan Prasad Mehta claimed that the recovery agents and the manager of Mahindra Finance Company had become angry when her father Mithilesh Mehta asked to see proof of their identities.
He further added that they sent Mithilesh a message over the phone to repay the loan of Rs 1.30 lakh.
A 22-year-old pregnant woman died in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district after she was run over twice with a tractor by loan recovery agents, on Thursday, 15 September, district police said.
The incident allegedly took place when employees of a private finance company were seizing her father's farming vehicle over non-payment of loans. The victim was reportedly two months pregnant and was visiting her father Mithilesh Kumar Mehta, a differently-abled farmer.
Was Prompt in Paying Loan Till COVID, Says Woman's Father
Mithilesh Kumar Mehta, the victim's father, is a farmer.
Speaking to The Quint, he said, "We had taken a loan of Rs 14,344 per month from the finance company and bought the tractor. I was supposed to pay the money in 44 installments. I have been prompt in paying them until the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19. I haven't been able to pay for the last six months."
In July, Mehta was asked by loan recovery agents from Mahindra Finance to pay a total of Rs 1.2 lakh to settle the dues. However, when he reached the financier's office on 18 July with a pre-approved amount, the finance company demanded an extra Rs 10,000 to clear the pending payment.
When they refused to accept the agreed-upon amount of Rs 1.2 lakh, Mehta said he requested them for an extension till 22 September. The finance company's agents reportedly agreed to it.
However, on 15 September, recovery agents barged into Mehta's house while he was away working in the fields.
Mehta's daughter Monika reportedly rushed outside after hearing the men enter, just in time to witness the recovery agents taking away the tractor parked outside their house. Before pregnant Monika could stop them or go to her father to inform him, the recovery agents had taken the tractor away.
(With inputs from PTI.)