The Indian Railways had started the Tatkal service to serve passengers travelling on short notice but touts ensured that all Tatkal tickets would be exhausted within two minutes of opening of counters. The Railway Police Force (RPF), taking stern action against the menace, has arrested 60 agents who used to book tickets in chunks and busted the illegal software using which they did it.
The RPF has thus ensured that a large number of Tatkal tickets will be available for the passengers. Tatkal tickets will now be available for them for hours whereas earlier bookings were available only for a minute or two after the opening.
RPF unearths Kolkata-based tout’s Bangladeshi terror link
Among those the RPF arrested is a person from Kolkata suspected to have had links with Bangladesh-based terrorist organisation Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. In January, Director-General Arun Kumar had said that an e-ticket gang with links to terror financing and money laundering had been busted.
An RPF officer said that illegal software such as ANMS, MAC and Jaguar bypass IRCTC‘s login captcha, booking captcha and bank OTP while real customers had to go through all these processes. He explained to the media that the booking process for a typical customer usually took about 2.55 minutes, but those using such software would complete it in about 1.48 minutes.
The Railways does not allow agents to book tickets immediately. In the last two months, the RPF has apprehended about 60 illegal agents who were booking tickets through dubious software. It had become nearly impossible for others to get Tatkal tickets.
Speaking to reporters, Kumar said, “Today, I can say that not a single ticket is being booked through an illegal software. We have resolved all the issues related to IRCTC and also caught those who were the major operators of the software.”
Kumar said that, with these arrests, most of the illegal software has been blocked. They used to do business worth Rs 50 crore – 100 crore annually.