Mumbai

Tickets worth over ₹23 lakh seized, 22 arrested in CRs anti-tout campaign

Special RPF ‘flying squads’ conduct raids across several stations

The sustained drive of the Mumbai division of Central Railway (CR) against touts over the last two weeks seems to be bearing fruit. Until May 13, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has arrested 22 touts in connection with 18 cases and has seized over 1,000 tickets valued at over ₹23 lakh.

In April, RPF caught 25 touts and seized tickets worth around ₹20 lakh.

‘Suspicious activity’

The RPF has created anti-tout flying squads that have been conducting raids across several railway stations and have been using CCTV camera footage to identify touts. On Sunday, the RPF caught three touts at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) based on CCTV surveillance.

“We have asked all our inspectors across all stations to monitor the live CCTV feed when the Tatkal booking opens every day in order to detect if there is any suspicious activity,” K. K. Asharaf, senior divisional security commissioner, Central Railway, said.

RPF officials said that the the attempt is to sustain the pressure and unravel the touting system. “With each arrest we get leads to other touts who are operating. We also get leads from our sources but the vigil needs to be kept up. Since tickets for long-distance trains can be bought at various stations, it is not enough to only focus on key ones like CSMT and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus,” a senior railway official said. The RPF has made a few major seizures such as the arrest of a tout in Mankhurd, from whom tickets worth ₹17 lakh were seized earlier this month.

Sources said that they have also found the phone numbers of three railway ticket checking staff members from the mobile phones of the touts who were arrested on Sunday and will be initiating an inquiry into the same.

“It’s too early to claim there is a nexus between touts and ticket checking staff, but we will be conducting an internal investigation into the same,” a senior railway official said.

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 1:38:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/tickets-worth-over-23-lakh-seized-22-arrested-in-crs-anti-tout-campaign/article27131239.ece

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