Nearly 400 touts have been held from 205 cities across the country, most of them from West Bengal, in a crackdown by the Railway Protection Force to check misuse of the facility of e-ticketing and tatkal seva, a senior official of the railways' police force said Friday. 'Operation Thunder' was conducted by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) along with the railways' IT cell on Thursday when suspects were identified and simultaneous raids were held in 338 locations, he said.
"This is the peak season for railways. Since it is the summer vacations, traffic is high along with it being the wedding season in North India. We learnt that anti-social elements were misusing our facilities and selling tickets at higher rates fraudulently," Director General RPF Arun Kumar told reporters here.
He said during the raids the RPF seized 22,253 tickets worth Rs 36,91,580 on which the journeys was supposed to be undertaken, he said. In the preliminary inquiry, it has been found that these touts had done business worth Rs 3,79,02,803 so far from such illegal sale of tickets, Kumar said.
Fifty-one touts were held from Kolkata in West Bengal, the highest number of arrest, which falls under the East Central Railway. This was followed by Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh over South East Central Railway with 41 such cases, he said. Kumar said an illegal software, 'ANMS/Red Mirchi', has been seized from Kota, Rajasthan which was being used to hack into the tatkal facility offered by the IRCTC which is now being rectified.
He said, "387 user ids under which these tickets have been booked frequently have been blacklisted and the tickets have been deactivated. We have also instructed all zonal railways to continue such raids in their areas to mount pressure on these touts. "I appeal to the general public not to book tickets illegally through touts," he said.
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