Suspended from his job as a ticket collector over a fraud case, 35-year-old continued to act as one to extort money in the form of fines from unsuspecting passengers
A suspended ticket collector decided to continue providing the 'service' he was dismissed from around six years ago, and conned gullible commuters by pocketing the money fraudulently collected from them in fines, railway cops said. The accused, Sudhir Namdev Utterkar (35), was arrested by the Kalyan GRP yesterday.
Curtains Down: A GRP constable saw through Utterkar's fraud and arrested him yesterday for impersonating a ticket collector. An official shows Utterkar's railway badge, which he did not return at the time of being dismissed as a TC, and used to dupe commuters.
Utterkar, a resident of Guruchhaya building, Katrap in Badlapur, was a genuine TC with the railways but he was discharged from service in 2006 after being found guilty in a cheating case by a special squad of the railways.
He never submitted his badge and receipt book and used the official looking insignia till date to deceive commuters into believing his assumed identity and then threatening them to extort money.
Over the course of time, he got comfortable with the con and cheated countless commuters with his TC act.
On Monday night, commuter Hira Gonda was travelling from Kalyan to Ulhasnagar with his family when Utterkar boarded the train. Gonda showed him his ticket but Utterkar allegedly persisted in his demand of a Rs-100 fine, if the former wanted to avoid being bothered. This led to a full-fledged dispute and Gonda and Utterkar got down at Ulhasnagar station where they started arguing heatedly. That is when Anil Jagdale, a GRP constable reached the spot.
"I asked Utterkar if he was a ticket collector and he said he was. I saw his fine book and it seemed dog-eared, dirty and very old. I suspected something amiss and asked him who he reported to and who the GM of Central Railway is," said Jagdale.
Once Jagdale discovered that Utterkar was clueless, and in fact a swindler, he slapped him, leading the accused to spill the truth about his dismissal from duty.
"Utterkar has been booked for cheating (Section 420, IPC), personating a public servant (Section 170, IPC)," said a police officer from Kalyan GRP.
The police believe Utterkar cheated commuters since 2006 the time he was suspended by the railways and is investigating into the matter.