An incident where a travel agent allegedly duped around 60 to 70 people after promising to take them on a pilgrimage trip to North India has been reported in the city on Saturday. The police are on the lookout for the agent.
According to the police and the victims, Ganesh Sharma, who owned Heritage India travel agency on the New Kantharaj Urs Road in K G Koppal had collected money from about 70 residents of the city for a package tour to pilgrimage towns in North India including Varanasi.
The victims said that they had paid Rs 38,000 per person and they were asked to come to the City Railway Station on Saturday morning.
“We were told to come to the station early and we were promised to be taken to Bengaluru from where another train had been arranged. After coming to the station we realised that the tickets were not booked and even the advance that had to be paid for bulk train travel had not been paid,” said Arun, who was one among the group.
Desperate for a solution, the group members then called up Ganesh Sharma and Heritage India travel agency manager Shivakumar only to realise that their mobile phones were switched off. They then assembled in front of the travel agency’s office in K G Koppal that was closed.
“We came to the office and it was closed. The agent must either take us for the trip or refund the money,” said Bhagyamma and Ravi.
The members of the group later visited the Ashokapuram police and lodged a complaint against Ganesh Sharma and Shivakumar. The police have booked an NC and Inspector Krishnappa called up Ganesh Sharma who apparently said that the group would be taken on a trip next month. The police have summoned Ganesh Sharma and Shivakumar for questioning in the evening.
It may be mentioned here that the Mandi Mohalla police had registered a complaint against city-based tours and travels agency owner and his staff for allegedly thraleadshing tourists from Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. The tourists had complained about bad service.
A group of tourists from Andhra Pradesh had come to the city after a trip in Bengaluru and wanted to go to Ooty in Tamil Nadu. Their travel agent had booked a vehicle with ARK Travels on Ashoka Road.
The agency owner Akhil had reserved seats for youths in a Tempo Traveller. On Thursday morning, when the youths boarded the vehicle, others in the vehicle objected to the youths travelling with them.
Akhil later arranged another Tempo Traveller but the youths had to face the same problem there too. Later, he told the youths to hire a Tavera or a Tata Sumo which would cost them Rs 3,500 more or take back the money they had given him. The youths refused to pay the extra charge or take back the amount and demanded that a vehicle be arranged.
This had led to a verbal clash between Akhil and the youths. Satish Kumar, one among the youths, allegedly slapped Akhil and later the travel agency employees retaliated by beating up the youths. Satish, who received several blows, was admitted to a private hospital.