The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has arrested 14 people, including eight IRCTC agents, for allegedly illegally selling e-tickets for special trains running on the Rajdhani route which began operations on May 12. The arrests gain significance as the railways is currently running only a fraction of its passenger services and thus only limited berths are available for passengers.
The railways, in a statement, said soon after it started the AC Special trains and announced 100 pairs of additional trains which are scheduled to run from June 1, complaints started pouring in regarding touts using multiple personal IDs and cornering reserved berths in these trains.
"It was also apprehended that once the reservation for the 100 pairs of trains started on May 21, the activities of these touts will escalate, adversely affecting the availability of confirmed train reservations to the common man.
"In view of the above, RPF has started concerted nationwide efforts to identify and act against these touts," it said.
A drive was launched on May 20 and 14 touts, including eight agents of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), were arrested. Tickets worth Rs 6,36,727 were recovered from them, according to the statement.
"The IRCTC agents were using personal IDs to corner tickets and then sell them unauthorisedly at a premium. Action has been initiated to get them blacklisted. One tout was found using autofill software called Super Tatkal Pro," it said.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal warned those involved in e-ticket touting of strict action and appealed to passengers to complain against such agents.
"Railways is taking strict action against agents who use software to book tickets.
"If an agent approaches a passenger and offers to book tickets, the passenger is requested to complain against the agent using 138 complaint number or write a letter to complain," he said in a tweet.