As people rushed to buy long-distance rail tickets to get rid of their old Rs500 and Rs1,000 banknotes on November 9, 10 and 11, commuter activists suspect the chaos may have led to an increased chance of wrongdoing.
The Union government on November 8 demonetised the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, but allowed railway booking centres, petrol pumps, hospitals and a few other services to continue accepting the old notes till November 11.
But soon, many railway station booking counters reported running out of change.
At one railway station, Grant Road, a staffer was suspended for swapping his Rs500 and Rs1,000 banknotes with change from the counter. With such incidents being reported, activists have demanded the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Central Bureau of Investigation, look into transactions of both the Central and Western Railways. They also said the record of currency at opening and closing times and shift changes must be examined.
“If such an incident can occur at Grant Road station, which is so close to the WR headquarters, it could have happened at any other station. It is the responsibility of the Centre to investigate the public’s money was not misused,” said Subhash Gupta, member of the zonal railway user’s consultative committee (ZRUCC), Central Railway.
Gajanan Chavan, divisional railway user’s consultative committee member of CR Mumbai division, said, “The sudden shortage of change at all stations should be investigated. “
GC Agarwal, general manager for WR, who has additional charge of CR said, “We will extend cooperation if an agency wants to conduct a probe.”