THANE: An Ulhasnagar autorickshaw driver who impersonated a ticket checker (TC) and fleeced commuters on a long-distance train was nabbed by two women at Thane station. However, the imposter was later let off by the GRP on the pretext that he is not a habitual imposter.
The incident took place on Sunday around 11 pm on the Mangalore Express when Prisca Moniz (45) and her sister Rita (47) had gone to the station to see off the former’s son, Patrick.
The accused, dressed in white shirt and white trousers, boarded the train as soon as it halted at Thane station. He was also carrying an old reservation chart to impress upon people that he was a TC.
“Several passengers approached him and offered money to get seats. Patrick, who had a general class ticket, asked him for a sleeper berth. The imposter demanded Rs 200, which Patrick promptly gave,” said Moniz. After taking money from four-five passengers, the accused quickly alighted the coach and escaped in the rush. Soon Patrick and the others realized that they were cheated. They tried to look for him, but in vain. Moniz and her sister started looking for the imposter on the platform.
“Minutes after paying him, we realized he had cheated us. We tried to look for him but he was nowhere to be seen. The train left Thane station but I and my sister were determined to nab the cheat. I sensed that he may try the same trick on passengers of other trains. We went to platform no. 7 where Konkan Kanya Express was approaching,” Moniz, a resident of Kolbad in Thane (W) , said.
As soon as the duo entered platform no. 7, they spotted the imposter having tea at a stall. “He saw us approaching and attempted a quick sprint. I screamed and alerted passengers on the platform, who nabbed him. We took him to the RPF office, where personnel asked us to hand him over to the GRP,” she said.
“A GRP officer, Gosavi, asked us to write down our complaint on a blank paper. But, the fake TC pleaded that he was not a habitual offender, He said he committed the crime because he needed money as his wife is pregnant. We called up his wife, who confirmed the pregnancy. We asked the cops to let him go as they had not yet registered the crime,” Moniz added.
Thane GRP senior inspector Hanumant Jadhav said that there was no case registered against any fake TC.