Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad have been receiving one shock after another as they round up many “rich beggars” who have presented bizarre reasons for resorting to begging.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — In the course of preparations for the upcoming Global Entrepreneurs Summit in the Indian city of Hyderabad, police have launched a massive drive to rid the city of beggars by picking them up from the streets and sending them to rehabilitation centers. This is a routine drive every time the city gears up to host high-profile visitors.
But this time, a shocking revelation greeted the Hyderabad police when they carried out a background check on two female beggars they had rounded up. Both women turned out to be highly educated and had returned to India after doing high-profile jobs overseas.
One of the beggars, Farzana, is a business management degree holder who earlier worked as an accountant in London. Another beggar, Rabiya Baseera, is a US green card holder who recently returned to India. Both women were caught begging near a Muslim shrine in the Langer Houz area of Hyderabad.
When the police tried to arrest them for contempt of an order banning begging in the city for two months, both women started arguing in fluent English. This is when the police got suspicious and started inquiring about their background.
Farzana, whose son is an architect, has a luxury apartment in the city. She told the police that she took to begging on the advice of a godman who told her that doing so would help her get rid of evil spirits that troubled her.
Meanwhile, Rabiya Baseera said she was forced to beg as her relatives took her property and bankrupted her.
Only a few days ago, the city police were shocked when five apprehended beggars casually fished out $3,500 each as their bail amount. Police suspect that there are many such “rich beggars” in Hyderabad and are trying to ascertain the exact cause as to why such well-to-do people resort to begging.
Meanwhile, the cleansing drive has invited flak not only for the local administration in Hyderabad, but also against US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, who has received a lot of bad press ahead of her visit to the city to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Hyderabad is building a mall and rounding up beggars so Ivanka Trump can shop in peace https://t.co/Vbq6Zeo1Qu pic.twitter.com/M61XP2dSLu