Cheating SHGs: Accused had similar rackets in other dists

Manjunath had made his victims partners in crime

The prime accused in the racket that cheated several Self Help Groups here, who was arrested recently, had operated in other districts also earlier and had made the victims his partners in crime.

The accused D Manjunath, whose Rural Development Institute had cheated several women self-help groups (SHGs) in the district to the tune of Rs 50-60 lakh, had cheated SHGs in a similar way in other districts earlier.

Manjunath was operating Rural Development Institute, a fake organisation, which lured women SHGs to deposit at least Rs 50,000 in exchange for various benefits. Five SHGs in the city — Gayathri Sangha, Chamundeshwari Sangha, Tripura Sundari Sangha, Prathiba Sangha and Mallikarjuna Sangha — had paid him Rs 2,50,000, each, and later learnt that he had absconded.

Police have also arrested one of his accomplices Shiva Reddy from Kolar, while three others involved in the crime are absconding.

Addressing a press meet, here, on Monday, Police Commissioner B Dayananda said, similar complaints have been registered against the accused at different police stations of South Karnataka, such as Turuvekere, Kibbanahalla in Tiptur taluk, Kyathasanthra in Tumkur and Kanakapura. The accused have already been arrested several times in the past.

Dayananda said, the accused had cheated SHGs similarly in Kolar district, following which some victims demanded him to repay the money.

“Manjunath sought the assistance of the victims in launching a similar racket in Mysuru, promising them repayment. So, Shiva Reddy and others, who were his victims, assisted him in the racket,” the commissioner said.

Repeat offender
Manjunath, a school drop-out, has been running such rackets since 2011. He used to open offices, pose like a government official and lure SHGs by promising them several benefits. He had also earned a few accomplices during his stints in prison.

Dayanand said, after cheating SHGs in Mysuru, the accused has already started groundwork for a similar racket in Anekal.

During interrogation, police have learnt that the accused was using 10-12 mobile phone sim cards.

The police have seized a car, letter pads of the fake institute, handouts, loan applications and other items.

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