Lizard in food: Man dupes Indian Railways, gets nabbed

All too often, one can find people complaining about the hygiene of pantry cars in trains. Some will even share photos of insects ranging from mosquitoes and cockroaches in their food.

But this time, a man has been arrested for faking contaminated food so he could blackmail Indian Railways for compensation.

In a surprisingly earnest effort to scam the railways, a man named Surender Pal put lizards and other hazardous objects in his railway meals, a report by the South Central Railways said.

The report says that the senior citizen claimed there was a lizard in his vegetarian meal which he purchased from Guntakal, which led him to get poisoned and admitted in the railway hospitals there, according to the Railways.

 

 

 

 

However, railway officials, smelling a rat, decided to contact other stations where similar incidents were recorded, and they realised Pal was running a scam going all the way to Jabalpur, where he 'found' a lizard in his samosa. He even claimed to have found blades in his idlis at Pune. The other stations shared a photo of the man who reportedly claimed to have gotten contaminated meals, and the officials realised that it was Pal who was responsible for all the incidents.

Pal also threatened stall owners by claiming they were adulterating the food and then blackmailed them for money.

The railway officials laid a trap for Pal by using a stall owner, who offered a bribe to Pal to hush his complaint and arrested the man. He confessed to his crimes and even recorded a video in which he said he was using a "fish which cured mental illness" for his tricks, according to a PTI report.

"I have done a wrong thing. I am an old man, I am mentally unstable, I have blood cancer. Please let me go. In Punjab there is an ayurvedic medicine. I used a fish which cures bone diseases and mental illness," he is heard saying in the video when officials asked him what did he put in his food. He also claimed his father was a senior DCM.

Till October, the Railways had received more than 7,500 complaints from passengers over bad quality of food served on trains and imposed fines of about Rs 1.5 crore on vendors. 

(With PTI inputs)

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