Hyderabad: The grand release of Baahubali 2 was much anticipated not only by fans but also by black market agents who were on the prowl in the city, especially near theatres on the city’s outskirts. Film-goers who had pre-booked tickets through online portals could get no confirmation, but the black marketers were fou-nd selling tickets for five times the original price!
Fans blame theatre managements and online portals for failing to keep their promise. Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda police booked at least 20 persons who were selling tickets in black on Friday and seized the tickets and cash from their possession.
P. Suresh Kumar, a Bengaluru based techie who came to Hyderabad to watch Baahubali 2 at Raghavendra Theatre in Malkajgiri, said that he booked his ticket in Hyderabad a month ago as there was some confusion about the release of the film in Karnataka.
“With the hope that the ticket will be confirmed, I reached Hyderabad one day before but it was not done. I even tried standing in queues, but could not make it,” he said.
Ashok Kumar N. from Banjara Hills booked tickets through bookmyshow in the last week of March. The booking was not confirmed, and he got an apology message from the portal saying that his tickets could not be confirmed and the amount will be refunded.
“We pre-booked the tickets a month ago, but it was not confirmed. Yet we see people selling tickets in black for higher amounts. This could be because of the hype created around the movie in the market. This should change,” he said.
Officers from the Rachakonda Special Operation Team said that in many places, agents were in connivance with theatre managements and encouraging them for commission.
“At Indra Nagendra theatre in Saroornagar, one employee was found with 117 tickets. Without the knowledge of the owner, he cannot procure so many tickets. We have booked both the persons,” SOT Inspector K Narsing Rao said.
In theatres on the outskirts, owners who did not pay salaries to their employees, gave each employee around 40 tickets and told them to adjust it against their salary.
Rachakonda Police booked 14 persons and seized 185 tickets and Cyberabad Police booked five persons and seized 66 tickets from them. The Hyderabad Task Force Police booked one person in Secunderabad and seized 15 tickets from him.
"All these agents were selling a Rs 100 ticket for up to Rs 500. Some are even selling tickets booked online," Madhapur SOT Inspector M Gangadhar said.