Tirupati: The Tirumala police on Sunday morning nabbed a 28-year-old tout for fleecing devotees under the pretext of booking tickets for Venkateswara darshan. The accused reportedly started avoiding his clients’ calls after receiving their money in his bank account, which is when one devotee filed a complaint that led to his arrest.
According to the Tirumala II town Circle Inspector Y. Venkateswarlu, the accused, identified as Kompella Karthik (28), a native of Vengalayapalle village, Nallapadu mandal, Guntur district, had been operating as a tout in Tirumala since December 2017 and was found to have established close connections with the TTD’s laddu and accommodation counter staff and a number of travel agencies, including Andhra Pradesh tourism.
Karthik had been exploiting his connections for the past two-and-a-half years to acquire devotees; contact details and subsequently swindle them. Irked after being robbed of Rs 5,300 in the name of tickets for the Suprabhata Darshanam, V. Srinivasa Rao filed a complaint with TTD’s vigilance and security department and the Tirumala police.
Thereafter, the Tirumala police launched a hunt for the accused and nabbed him in Tenali on Sunday morning. The police have seized his mobile phone in order to establish his links with other touts and the TTD staff involved. A case has been registered, and further investigation is underway....