Touts selling railway seats face extortion charges

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 11 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Touts caught illegally selling seats to commuters in general coaches of long-distance trains will now be booked on stringent charges of extortion. Government railway police (GRP) commissioner Ravindra Singhal, who made the announcement earlier this week, said neither his own staff nor Railway protection force (RPF) personnel would be spared if they were caught accepting bribes for the same. Singhal has encouraged commuters to report such activities on the GRP's Facebook page along with photographs or videos as evidence.

On Saturday, two RPF personnel had been suspended after a television news channel, in a sting operation, caught them on camera demanding bribes from commuters at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Those who paid the duo Rs 100 each were allowed preferential entry into the general coach trains while the rest were made to wait on the platform. The top brass of the RPF said the duo was likely to be dismissed after an inquiry as the charges against them were grave.

"I went through the video and learnt of a similar incident that took place a couple of years ago. This is a serious issue. I have written a letter to the RPF as well about our intention to slap extortion charges on anyone who charges money from commuters for seats," Singhal told TOI. "It's unfair for commuters who have waited in queues to board the general coach," he added.

During festivals, many commuters are forced to travel in general coaches. Touts enter general coaches before the train arrives at the terminus and occupy seats. Once passengers enter, touts sell seats they have occupied, sources said. GRP's social media page is,railway seats,Railway,face,extortion charges

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