Andhra Pradesh

Fake tickets sale: Tirupati Urban Police to invoke PD Act against touts

TIRUPATI: The Tirupati Urban Police have decided to act tough against touts, jeep and auto drivers who indulge in the sale of fake darshan tickets. The Tirumala police have constituted a special team to keep a vigil on the touts to prevent them from duping visiting pilgrims.

As many as 27 touts were arrested in the last two months for selling fake darshan tickets to pilgrims at a premium. Six cases were registered against the touts and middlemen in Tirumala and Tirupati police stations.

Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police Ch Venkata Appala Naidu said they have opened suspect and history sheets against the touts and a vigil has been kept on their movements. “If they fail to stop cheating pilgrims, we will invoke the Preventive Detention (PD) Act against them,” the SP warned.

Citing an instance, the SP said a tout wearing Army uniform had duped a devotee from Hyderabad by posing himself as a senior officer and he would arrange darshan tickets. After taking money from the devotee, he gave him fake darshan tickets. The tout was identified and a suspect sheet has been opened against him, the Tirupati Urban SP said.

On Saturday, TTD vigilance officials arrested two touts who tried to sell darshan tickets to devotees from Krishna and West Godavari districts using forged recommendation letters of legislators. The police urged devotees to book darshan tickets only through the official website of TTD.