Police have nabbed a teen while a hunt is on to nab the kingpin behind a racket to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic by arranging for the quick issuance of e-passes in Vellore for a price.
The issue came to light after a retired sub-registrar of Cooperative Department C Idhayaraj of Ussoor in Vellore district submitted a complaint to the district collector on Monday saying that his application to get an e-pass was turned down six times without valid reasons but a message had been sent to his mobile phone promising to get the pass for Rs 1500.
“A message from a man, Rahul, was sent to my mobile that he can get the e-pass with due validation from the district authorities within two hours and Rs 1500 has to paid for it,” he said in the complaint.
Wondering how the tout could arrange an e-pass within a short time even while he could not get one though he applied with valid documents, Idhayaraj wanted the authorities to furnish him valid reasons for rejecting his application.
Following reports of a racket operating to arrange for e-passes, Vellore district collector A Shanmuga Sundaram directed the police to hold investigations.
Subsequently, the district police nabbed the 18-year-old boy, who had just completed Plus Two, after it was found that he had circulated the advertisements across WhatsApp groups.
“The boy does not seem to be part of the gang. He had actually obtained an e-pass for his uncle through a man, Vadivelu, in Tiruppur,” said Thirunavukkarasu, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
Vadivelu is considered to be the key man behind the racket and steps are being taken to nab him. “A special team has been sent to Tiruppur to nab Vadivel,” he added.
Meanwhile, government authorities have been instructed to issue e-passes to all applicants if proper documents are provided.
“I have directed them to issue e-passes to all applicants if the documents are proper. So, there will not be any delay,” district collector A Shanmuga Sundaram told The New Indian Express.
“With commercial and industrial activities being resumed, we cannot hold back applications for e-passes,” he added.