New challenge for railways: ‘Fake’ TTEs extorting money from ticketless passengershttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/new-challenge-for-railways-fake-ttes-extorting-money-from-ticketless-passengers-5981354/

New challenge for railways: ‘Fake’ TTEs extorting money from ticketless passengers

Railway officials said there was little they could do to prevent this and that they were dependent on passengers for information.

TTE
According to officials, two other such imposters were caught between Pune-Lonavala and were prosecuted. (Representational image)

THE CENTRAL Railway is facing a new challenge in the form of fake travelling ticket collectors, who are allegedly extorting money from passengers travelling without tickets.

Last week, an alert TTE caught such an imposter red-handed on board Pune-Indore Express. According to officials of Central Railway’s Pune division on September 6, TTE Sunil Malusare received complaints that a person dressed up as a TTE was inspecting tickets and was forcing passengers to pay up. Upon receiving the information, Malusare went from compartment to compartment to find that a man dressed in a white shirt and black pants, carrying a chart, was examining tickets. He was not carrying a badge of identity as an authorised TTE.

“The man failed to produce an ID. Malusare nabbed him and informed the control room post, following which the Kalyan railway police caught the imposter,” said Manoj Jhawar, spokesperson, Pune Division of Central Railway. Police identified the man as Swapnil Pundalik Palve, against whom a case was registered. Only two weeks ago, another such imposter was nabbed in Pune-Howrah Azad Hind Express. The imposter was identified as Dattatraya Sampat Varade and a case registered at Manmad GRP station.

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According to officials, two other such imposters were caught between Pune-Lonavala and were prosecuted. Railway officials said there was little they could do to prevent this and that they were dependent on passengers for information.

“The passengers have to confirm that the person who is approaching them is a genuine railway staffer. It’s not difficult to do that as a TTE will wear his name badge on the pocket, a black jacket and will also produce ID if the passenger requests for one. TTE will also provide a receipt of fine and fair difference. We have requested passengers to be more vigilant and inform the closest railway staffer,” Jhawar said.