The kingpin was reportedly an employee of the TTD.

Tirumala police busts racket that sold VIP darshan tickets using fake recommendation lettersFile photo: PTI
news Crime Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 09:34

The Tirumala police busted a racket on Wednesday that was involved in selling VIP darshan tickets, allegedly using the letterheads of several Andhra Pradesh bureaucrats. 

The Times of India reported that an employee of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), was the kingpin of the racket, and the gang involved 10 people in total. 

The TOI report adds that the gang carried on the racket for two years till 2015 and slowed down after the TTD started sending alerts to the bureaucrats. 

Each ticket was sold for around Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000, the report adds.

In September 2015, the police had busted a similar racket, where the accused were selling these VIP tickets for as high as Rs 10,000 each.

The original ticket is priced at Rs 500.

The 'VIP Darshan' is made available on the recommendation of ministers, legislators, senior government officers and presidents of political parties. There are three categories - L1, L2 and L3. 

In October 2015, the TTD changed its rules, so that at least one person from the pilgrim family that was availing the darshan tickets with a VIP recommendation letter should be present when the letter was being submitted.

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