A ticket scam has surfaced in the ongoing Amarnath yatra with police nabbing a Srinagar-based travel operator under section 420 of the Ranbir Penal Code.
As per sources, the travel operator was selling tickets far more than his approved quota of 11 tickets for the helicopter service from Neelgranth helipad to the Amarnath cave.
The travel operator was not only allegedly selling the extra tickets at exorbitant rates but he in connivance with the helicopter service providing company had secured access to the restricted helipad.
An FIR no 10/2018 has been registered in Police Station Sonmarg in connection with the case.
Sources said that he used to sell the tickets in black at the Neelgrath helipad, earning a huge amount of money which was disbursed from bottom to top in the company.
The racket was being run under the noose of the Amarnath shrine board headed by Governor Narinder Nath Vohra.
The police are now investigating the role of the officials in the company through which the accused was getting extra tickets than his prescribed quota.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal Fayaz Lone said one person from Khanyar has been arrested in the case. “The investigation is on to nab the accomplices of the travel agent who were providing him tickets.”
Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer, Amarnath pilgrimage board couldn’t be reached for comment on the issue.
The scams aren’t a new thing during the annual pilgrimage.
Last year the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested a self-proclaimed travel agent who had been allegedly cheating people by selling fake helicopter tickets at exorbitant rates.
Back then the tip-off to crime branch had come from the private helicopter company which in the present case is itself in the dock.
In 2013 a scam pertaining to setting up of tents at Pahalgam for the pilgrimage in which the district administration had allegedly issued permissions on forged documents, without verifications and necessary formalities.
The company in question provides helicopter services from Neelgrath to Panjtarni and back.
The 2018 Amarnath pilgrimage began on 28th June and till date, over two lakh pilgrims have visited the cave.