Imagine this: It’s 8am and the ticket counter for outstation booking opens. You have been waiting in a serpentine queue to book a tatkal (emergency) ticket. At 8:02 am, it’s your turn at the counter. But just as you proceed to pay, the ticket clerk tells you that outstation tickets have been sold out.
According to the cyber police station, several commuters have faced this situation in the past one year as every week; the limited quota of emergency tickets is sold out within five minutes of opening the booking counter.
The cyber police station at Bandra-Kurla Complex has begun its crackdown on a group to agents who are behind this racket. On Monday, the cyber police arrested Suraj Yadav, 35, a marketing professional who operated from a travel agency in Mulund.
“For the past one year, Yadav and a few others used a software called ‘Speedo’. They would secure the details of people who approached the travel agency, including details required to buy a tatkal ticket. As soon as the bookings opened at 8am, the software would directly feed the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited’s (IRCTC) server with the information that was preloaded on Speedo. This way, they would secure maximum tickets that were later sold at premium rates,” said an officer, on condition of anonymity.
Another officer added, “Following a complaint by the IRCTC, we arrested another person involved in this case on Tuesday. We are also looking out for the person who sold the software to the accused. More arrests are likely in the case.”
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said, “It is necessary to take precautions such as installing firewalls.”