For possibly the first time in the city, the police have arresteda woman for black-marketing train tickets. But she is no ordinary tout. Rahimunnisa Rashid Sheikh, better known as Bhabhi, has allegedly been nurturing the illegal racket for the past 25 years, expanding it to a seven-member operation.
The Government Railway Police at Mumbai Central on Friday arrested Bhabhi and her foot soldiers -- six other touts - after combing the area for months. The ringleader has spent 25 of her 55 years touting tickets at the same railway station, roping in customers with the helpof her pawns.
A senior GRP inspector said the sting operation carried out by MiD DAY last month was helpful in nabbing the accused. (‘Pay double, get Rajdhani ticket two hours before train departs’, October 29). Over the 10-day exposé, we were successful in uncovering the racket flourishing at Mumbai Central railway station, where passengers can get confirmed tickets for Rajdhani Express hours before its departure, after forking out enough cash to the agents.
Bhabhi’s accessories, arrested along with her, have been identified as Jeet Singh, Sonveer Singh Chauhan (26), Jairam Rajendra Rai (35), Deepak Macchindra Navgire (38), Karma Mohammad Khanna (23) and Jaikumar Sundaram Naidu (27). Of these, two were the ones who had been exposed by this paper, when they tried selling our reporters a Rs 2,700 ticket for Rs 5,000 on the August Kranti Rajdhani.
Rajendra Trivedi, senior inspector, GRP, Mumbai Central, said, “We have been looking for these agents touting around the railway premises for a long time. They have finally been caught, following a tip-off from our sources. We had been getting several complaints from passengers but were not able to locate them.”
During interrogations, the police found that Bhabhi has been married to three persons and has three residences, in Andheri, Borivli and Mira Road. “She also has property in Sholapur and two tempos that run on rental basis,” said the railway police staff. The seven accused have been arrested under sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persona in furtherance of a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. They have been remanded in police custody till November 12.