Police caught napping on AL BALAAGH FRAUD

Victims smell rat in investigations

SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI

Srinagar, Dec 8: With the state police failing to crack the case of fraud by Al-Balaagh Tours and Travels, a firm which two months back duped at least 126 aspiring Hajjis, the victims have accused the cops of hushing up the case.
 Around two months on, the police has been saying that the tour operator Mehjoor Khan of Kupwara is at large while the victims say he was nabbed but released clandestinely. Though police had claimed to have filed an FIR vide No: 82/2012 under section 420 of RPC (cheating) against the accused, there has been no breakthrough.
 
FAILURES AMID APPEALS
 The aspiring Hajjis had been smelling rat in the investigations and had appealed the government to handover the case to the official who last year cracked a similar fraud by Hajeej India. But while the government declined to handover the case, the concerned investigating officers of Shaheed Gunj Police Station failed to make any breakthrough.
 Even though the victims who were duped for whopping around Rs two crores have been seeking speedy investigations, the men-in- Khaki are tight lipped.
 
THE ALLEGATIONS
 The victims said the accused tour operator was nabbed by police in the last week of November along with his wife. “We were told by insiders that the couple surrendered before police in Soura locality. But they were subsequently released,” said a delegation of the duped pilgrims adding that Mehjoor Khan’s wife was first to be released.


POLICE DENIES
 Police, however, denied that any arrests have been made so far adding that the investigations are going on. “We don’t want to speak much on the issue,” a police official said.


STORY TILL NOW
 On October 18, the aspiring Hajjis raised a hue and cry when at the eleventh hour Al Balaagh people allegedly duped them.
 The aspirants who staged roadside protests said the Al Balaagh representatives, particularly its owner, cheated them. “We got a shocker on October 17 when we were scheduled to collect our travel documents including passport, visa and air tickets from the Al Balaagh office at Hari Street. When we went to collect the travel documents we were stunned to find that except for the peon, none of the office bearers was present there,” the protesters said. “When we enquired about our travel documents and the office people, we didn’t get a convincing reply,” they added.
 “On further investigation into the matter, we realized that we have been duped and the Al Balaagh people are absconding.” The victims said they had deposited around Rs 1,50,000 each for the pilgrimage last year.


THE DUPING GENESIS
 Pertinently last year, a private firm Hajeej India duped a number of Hajj aspirants, leading to registration of case against its owner, Fabian Wahid Gilkar and his subsequent arrest. The Hajeej India had swindled staggering Rs 10 crore by allegedly duping more than 500 Hajj aspirants. After Hajeej, Albalaagh duped the aspirants while police is groping for clues.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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