A railway booking clerk was suspended after he was caught red-handed overcharging for intercity train tickets at Bonarpara railway station.
On Thursday around 11:00am, when a passenger at ticket counter of the station asked for two ‘Shobhan’ class tickets to the Dhaka-bound Lalmoni Express, clerk Abu Raihan initially claimed that they were out of the particular tickets.
However, at persistent requests of the passenger, Abu Raihan sold two of the tickets to him for Tk 1,800 -- almost three times higher than the original price of Tk 360 apiece.
After the aggrieved passenger informed the railway police of the matter, they sent out Zakir Hossain, a plainclothes member of their special branch, to the ticket queue around 3:00pm, posing as a prospective passenger, said Bonarpara railway police yesterday.
When the plainclothes policeman asked for two tickets of the same intercity train, clerk Abu Raihan first explained his incapacity to sell the tickets as all the tickets were already sold out.
But after a little persistence from the undercover policeman, the clerk sold two of the tickets to him for Tk 1,800.
While collecting the tickets, the policeman noticed that the clerk had a stash of 40 to 50 more tickets in his possession.
Soon afterwards, Officer-in-Charge Abdus Sattar of Bonarpara railway police arrived at the scene and reported the incident to higher authorities of railway.
Bangladesh Railway’s western division traffic manager placed booking clerk Abu Raihan under suspension, pending departmental action, said Bonarpara Station Master Khalilur Rahman.
Sabuj Sarker, a passenger boarding the Rangpur Express at the station, said intercity train tickets are always sold for extra money at the station.