Sunday, October 10, 2010

Visitors Denied Tickets But Touts are selling complimentary tickets

If the stadiums were jam packed, you would have considered buying tickets in black a measure of the success of Commonwealth Games. But when ‘sold out’ events turn out to be sparsely attended and yet there are touts offering you tickets, you can conclude that there is something rotten here.

On Saturday, Delhi Police arrested two persons, including a woman, from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Siri Fort Stadium after allegedly catching them red handed, selling complimentary tickets in black.

Identified as Rekha (34), the woman is claimed to have told the police that she had sold 50 tickets of athletics on Thursday outside JLN Stadium. She was arrested outside Gate no 14 and 15 of the stadium while trying to sell complimentary tickets right outside the ticket counter in black.

Rekha told the police that the tickets were meant for free distribution among students and were given to her by a teacher of a school in Moti Nagar, where she is also employed. The tickets, claimed the police, had been given to this teacher by the father of national level swimmer Richa Mishra. Richa’s father had reportedly obtained the tickets from the organizing committee (OC) and distributed them in several schools. DCP (south) HGS Dhaliwal claimed that no record of the complimentary tickets could be recovered from either the accused or the school authorities.

Ninety-six complimentary tickets were seized from Rekha. These were for track and field events and included 11 tickets of Rs 500 denomination, 45 tickets of Rs 250 denomination and 40 tickets of Rs 100 denomination. Rekha was selling the tickets at double the price. She had allegedly sold several tickets on Thursday. ‘‘We are verifying her claim and trying to find out whether she has more tickets stashed away elsewhere,’’ said a senior police officer.

National level swimmer Richa Mishra said she had no knowledge of the incident. ‘‘My father teaches at the west Delhi school and he is not involved in any ticket case,’’ she said. All efforts to speak to her father directly proved futile.

A case of cheating has been registered at the Lodhi Colony police station. The arrest came following reports that tickets and complimentary passes were being sold in black market. The police is investigating the possibility of other persons being involved in the case.

The second arrest came hours after the woman was arrested a man identified as Sanjay Singhvi (28) was nabbed by cops outside Siri Fort. Singhvi is an honorary member of the OC and joined a few months back. The cops found 14 complimentary tickets in his possession which included nine of the hockey match between India and Pakistan and five of a squash match at Siri Fort. ‘‘He also told us that he had sold two tickets on Friday. We are verifying the source of these tickets,’’ said Dhaliwal.

Singhvi is a resident of Green Park and has a jewelry business. He has been booked and raids are being conducted at his office and residence to find out if he has stashed away more tickets. ‘‘Singhvi claimed that he had sold two tickets each at Rs 100. We have also contacted OC officials about his role in procuring the tickets. An accreditation card issued by OC was also found from his possession,’’ added a senior officer.