Beltangady: The undivided DK district is known as one inhabited by ‘intelligent’ people. Or at least that is way people from the rest of the state or country describe the Dakshina Kannadigas for their own motives or benefit.
Otherwise, it is difficult to comprehend as to how a large number of people fall for glib sales talk, offers of high, impractical returns on investment and such other traps. Rural households are being targeted by unknown people with offers of getting their old utensils exchanged with brand-new ones, the quality of which is always questionable.
Another trade is of ‘polishing’ of old gold ornaments. In spite of cautions and past reports in the media, the trickery continues to flourish. In most cases, the conmen seem to target houses in the absence of menfolk.
In yet another case, a woman, the wife Sheshappa Nalike from Ungilabail in Aladangadi in the taluk, was made to believe by a group of three men, said to be hailing from northern India, that her gold ornament would be made to shine with a new look.
She walked into the trap and gave them all the gold she had for the purpose of getting them a new appearance. They are said to have dipped them into some unknown liquid and left to visit other neighbouring houses.
Her son came home after some time and she showed him the container with the gold dipped in the liquid. Getting suspicious, he took out an ornament. It was found to have melted into pieces. Other villagers were alerted and a search was made for the tricksters. They were tracked down in Aladka-Kapinadka and handed over to the Beltangady police.
Every year, during monsoons, gangs of this kind keep visiting village houses and cheat women, say the residents. Many persons in Balanja and Aladangadi may have been cheated. A larger gang could be behind this activity, they suspect.
A ‘brush-up’ – from the archives: