Touts back to work at Ghaziabad RTO
It was business as usual for touts and owners of unauthorised shops outside the regional transport office (RTO) in Ghaziabad on Monday.
This as authorities failed to take any action even though they suspected the involvement of touts in facilitating the procurement of a driver's licence in name of a suspected terrorist in July.
Dozens of shops and unauthorised vendors started operations only on Monday afternoon, as they suspected an early morning crackdown. Touts also worked cautiously and catered only to 'known customers'.
When HT approached one of them for 'help' in getting a licence, one replied, "Aaj to nahi ho paega. Kuch din ruk jao (It will not be possible today, wait for some days)." As a precautionary measure to disallow outsiders' entry, RTO officials locked down several entrances besides the main gate of the office area.
Regional transport officer VK Singh admitted that the connivance of some staff members with touts could not be completely ruled out in the incident. He had recommended action against three officials after the issue of terrorist's licence came to light. "These three have been suspended and attached to the Lucknow office," Singh added.
On the other hand, district magistrate (DM) Aparna Upadhyaya said that a complete inquiry report of the incident was sent to transport department officials in Lucknow.
"We have also written to the Ghaziabad police chief regarding the operations of unauthorised people outside the RTO office. They will be removed permanently and will not be allowed to resume operations," she added.
RTO officials have also lodged an FIR at the Kavi Nagar police station for a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
The issue came up after it was found that a driver's licence was procured in the name of a suspected terrorist, Mohd Fasih, through the use of a fake voter ID card, bearing an address of Raj Nagar residence, and fake date of birth school certificate.
The RTO officials suspected that the fake IDs to be the work of touts, who operated outside the RTO office. The license was cancelled on August 9.