Kashmir Indepth

Tour operator agent cheats Haj pilgrims of Rs 28 lakh

Sambalpur, Dec 5 (PTI) An agent of a tour operator has allegedly cheated at least 35 people in Odishas Sambalpur district of Rs 28 lakh after promising them to arrange ticket, lodging and boarding for Haj and Umrah pilgrimage, police said on Thursday.

A case has been registered in the Dhanupali police station in this regard following a complaint by the affected people on Wednesday and investigation into the matter is in progress, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), PK Mohapatra said,

“Appropriate action will be taken after completion of the investigation,” the ASP said.

The complainants, who met Sambalpur Superintendent of Police, Kanwar Vishal Singh on Wednesday, alleged that A Rahim of Kumbharpara locality in the city had collected Rs 28 lakh from 35 persons.

Rahim had promised that he would arrange ticket, lodging and boarding for them for Haj and Umrah pilgrimage around a year ago and people interested for the pilgrimage, paid him money, they said, adding that Rahim had collected advance money of Rs 28 lakh from the 35 persons in the name of a travel firm.

However, after taking the advance money, Rahim did not take any step to send them for the pilgrimage and told the complainants that the money had been transferred to a travel company at Raipur in Chhattisgarh, they said.

When the complainants approached the travel firm in Raipur and inquired about their tickets, the tour operator said he had not received any money from Rahim.

Thereafter, the complainants asked Rahim about their tickets, but he repeated the same story of having sent the money to the Raipur-based tour operator and that he was not in a position to return their money.

The complainants further alleged that Rahim also threatened them of dire consequence if they approach the police.

One of the complainants, Hazi Mohammad Islam (70) said Rahim took Rs 66,000 from him promising to book a ticket and arrange lodging for him for the pilgrimage.

“However, he did not keep his words. We have been seeking refund, but he did not return our hard-earned money.

We met the SP and narrated the whole episode,” Islam said.

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