BENGALURU: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday launched simultaneous raids in the city on agents misusing 27 personal login ids to book train tickets illegally through the IRCTC website.
Six special teams of RPF sleuths arrested 10 accused who were working in various travel agencies and seized tickets worth Rs 7,70,838.
The crackdown was possible due to the newly set up RPF cyber cell. "Those manning the cell found suspicious behaviour of repeated booking of tickets using the same login ids for a few months. The in-house software, 'Prabal' helped in tracking this illegal practice," said a senior RPF official.
After gathering considerable evidence on the racket, six special teams with four sleuths in a team were set up to put an end to this practice, the cop explained. "Three teams were created in Yesvantpur, one each in KSR, Bengaluru Cantonment, and Baiyappanahalli," he added.
A total of 27 personal login identities were misused by those nabbed. "They were all booking the tickets under the guise of running travel agencies. They were operating individually and not as a gang," he said.
The IRCTC-authorised agents are permitted to book Tatkal tickets as well as reservation tickets only after 15 minutes of opening of booking for the public on the IRCTC portal. "Hence, they make use of personal ids instead of ids provided for agents," the official added.
Indian Railways has been grappling with the menace posed by unauthorised agents indulging in the bulk booking of tickets using special software. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had in March 2020 told Parliament that the government was mulling doing away with private agents completely to counter the menace and set up government-run Common Service Centres for the public to avail their services.
Divisional Railway Manager, A K Verma said: "We keep a close watch on the touting activity and take immediate action. We are strengthening our cybersecurity cell to take care of such offenses more effectively."