CHITTOOR: In a major bust, the Madanapalle Rural police have arrested 13 members of a rice-pulling gang on Wednesday near the Madanapalle - Punganur road in Chittoor district on Wednesday.
According to SI Dilip Kumar's report, the Madanapalle Rural Police team who were patrolling the road on Wednesday evening noticed three vehicles parked to the side of the road at Basinikonda Y-junction on the Madanapalle-Punganur road. A group of people were standing there and the police who got suspicious came closer to see what they were doing. The group of people who saw the police coming towards them tried to flee, but were unable to escape and were all caught. When questioned by the police, they said that they were trying to sell a cooper vessel meant for rice pulling.
A rice pulling metal has magical powers of 'pulling' rice towards itself with radiation properties, and so these metals are valued at high prices. Rice-pulling properties are generally found in items usually made out of copper such as coins, vessels, tumblers, jewellery etc.
They were allegedly trying to sell these vessels for Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. The accused were arrested and three cars, a two-wheeler and Rs 20,700 in cash were seized from them.
The accused were part of an interstate gang from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and neighbouring Karnataka. The accused from Andhra Pradesh were identified as, Shantilal (37) from NGO Colony in Tirupati, J Srinivasulu (45) from Ramachandrapuram mandal, S Sivasanakarayya (48) from Durgasamudram, G Srinivasulu (35) from Basinikonda, Madanapalle, K Madhusudhan Reddy (32) from Chippidiralla, YSR Kadapa district. A lawyer named D Chenna Reddy (55) from Bandarallapalle, Anantapur district, P Nagaraju(40 from Tadipatri, Anantapur district, P Chandrahas (21) from Nandyal, Kurnool district and B Premananda Reddy(42) of Yerramkalavaripalle.
From the state of Telangana, D Rajendraprasad (33) from Venkatapur, Warangal district, and S Ashok Reddy (42) from Niladri Towers in Kukatpally were arrested. Two people, KM Munish (27) from Yelahanaka, and V Nagaraju (25) from Chikkaballapur of Karnataka state were also arrested.
The 'rice pulling' scam involves fraudsters marketing a 'rice puller' device made up of copper/iridium that they claim to possess magical properties and attract rice grains towards it. The ‘rice pulling' scam has become widespread, and several people have been duped so far especially in the Southern states.
In the year 2019, a prominent doctor and his family committed suicide in Amalapuram, East Godavari district, after realizing they were cheated by fraudsters in the name of rice pulling. East Godavari police arrested a person identified as Varakuti Venudhara Prasad from Koduru village in the Krishna district. It is alleged that Prasad formed a gang with another three members and cheated Dr P Rama Krishnam Raju to a sum of Rs 5 crore. Explaining the details, Amalapuram DSP Sheik Masoom Bhasha said that the gang duped the doctor in the name of superstition and that told him that by purchasing the ''Rice Pulling Vessel'' he would gain immense wealth and riches.
There have been many such cases reported in the Telugu States and unfortunately, many of the victims were businessmen and highly educated people who were conned by such superstitious beliefs.