Saturday, June 23, 2018

Himanshu Kaushik| TNN | Updated: Jun 22, 2018,

Representative Photo

AHMEDABAD: If you have ever been left stranded because the Tatkal ticket quota was exhausted in minutes of opening, especially during vacation time, your doubts about a mass booking scam have been proved correct. Gujarat railway police busted a major Tatkal ticket booking racket, worth about Rs 33 lakh, run by the wife of a railway employee.
The accused used a special software to book Tatkal tickets which was designed to penetrate the IRCTC online booking security system and book multiple tickets using a personal IRCTC ID. The railway staffer concerned is from the commercial department of the Ahmedabad division.

According to S D Yadav, inspector of the Railway Protection Force crime branch, after a tip-off, a location in Ramol was raided, where the woman was found to be booking Tatkal tickets using a personal IRCTC ID to serve clients. She used a special booking software which allowed her to book tickets quickly and get confirmed tickets.

Yadav said that usually, when someone books a Tatkal ticket, if they are quick enough, they get one ticket confirmed at best. If they try to book another, they usually get a wait-list ticket. However, in the case of this woman (whose name has not been revealed), she got all the tickets confirmed. This was because of the special software she used.

It was also found that she was not registered as an agent with IRCTC. Yadav also said that agents can book tickets but only after a specific time. Initially, booking on IRCTC was allowed only on personal IDs and only two tickets could be booked per ID.

During the raid, RPF personnel found eight Tatkal tickets for trains departing on Friday. These tickets were worth Rs 23,640. The investigation revealed that the woman had booked 1,402 e-tickets between January 1 and June 21. The value of these tickets together was Rs 33.30 lakh.

Yadav said the woman has been arrested and RPF is finding out more about how she used the software and how it enabled her to book tickets. RPF officials will also investigate if the woman’s husband was also involved. The investigation will also ascertain how many ticket she booked in the past. Officials said the woman booked an average of eight tickets a day this year.

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