‘Duped’ by travel agent, 30-year-old man ends life in Jalandhar

Hindustan Times, Jalandhar | ByHT Correspondent, Jalandhar
Jun 22, 2018 01:50 PM IST

​The suicide comes amid the administration’s crackdown against travel agents indulging in fraudulent ​activities on the pretext of sending people abroad.

A 30-year-old man, who was allegedly ​duped by a travel agent, committed suicide by hanging himself ​from a ceiling fan at his home ​in Jalandhar on Wednesday evening, police said.

Rajan Singh, the deceased(HT Photo)
Rajan Singh, the deceased(HT Photo)

The deceased, Rajan Singh of Rasila Nagar, was aspiring to move to the USA, but the travel agent, identified as Manjit Singh, sent him to Moscow instead, police added.

Rajan’s brother Malkit Singh in the first information report (FIR) has stated that ​Manjit fraudulently sent Rajan to Moscow after making a false promise that he would later be moved to America.

“We had​ given 13.4 lakh as advance to the travel agent. After spending three months in Russia, Rajan came back to India earlier this week. He was at 4.​30pm ​on Wednesday​ found hanging from a ceiling fan,” Malkit mentioned in this complaint.

​Division-5 station house officer Rajesh Thakur said the police were conducting raids to nab the accused travel agent.​

Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Section​ 306 (abetment of suicide) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 13 of the Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act at the Division Number 5 police station against the travel agent.

​The suicide comes amid the administration’s crackdown against travel agents indulging in fraudulent ​activities on the pretext of sending people abroad.

No record of Biannnual info filed by agents in Jalandhar

Ever since the state government passed the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012, which was later renamed as Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act, 2014, the administration has not received a single return from travel agents in the region.

According to the rule, the licenced travel agents are obligated to provide information about the number seats booked on domestic and international flights to the deputy commissioner on a biannual basis.

While the administration has somehow succeeded in getting many travel agents in the district on the board to obtain the licence, it has the long way to go to maintain the database of all those travel agents who have filed biannual information with them. Currently, the Jalandhar holds no such record.

The district has over 800 unauthorised travel agents and authorities say that they have recently rejected 600 licence applications.

Deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said there are currently 120 cases pending for police verification, while 126 are under process.

What the act says

As per the Punjab Travel Professional Regulation Act (2014), rule 5 (b), the person, to whom a licence is given for a ticketing agency, shall inform the deputy commissioner concerned, on six-monthly basis, giving a monthly chart of number of tickets sold by him for domestic or international airlines, as the case may be, in electronic mode on his official email id. Provided further that each travel agent or consultant or ticketing agent, who has obtained a licence, shall maintain record of the fee charged and submit the same to the competent authority or the state government, as the case may be, in case a complaint is received against such licencee.”

Along with giving information after every six months, the travel agents are also required to take prior permission from the district administration before organising any study abroad or visa-related seminars besides advertising their consultancy or agency in the newspapers.

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