Act Against Dishonest Travel Agents, NGO Tells NRI Panel

HOSHIARPUR – The Centre for Human Rights Initiative, Training and Research Association (CHITRA) filed a petition with the Punjab NRI Commission, seeking action against unscrupulous travel agents. Rights activist Kulwant Singh Nagra from CHITRA brought to the notice of the commission the news item “100 youths duped of Rs 90 lakh” published in The Tribune on October 7, 2014.

Nagra in his complaint alleged that a travel agent allegedly duped around 100 youths of Mukerian and surrounding villages on the pretext of sending them to South Africa. The agent allegedly took Rs 90 lakh from them and fled. Though several complaints were lodged with the police, no action had been taken, he alleged. Nagra said the agent had allegedly taken the victims’ passports and Rs 85,000 from each youth.

Nagra said, “The unemployed youths of the state are falling prey to unscrupulous travel agents. These agents promise the youth lucrative jobs in foreign countries and charge them a hefty amount for a visa.”

He said that these youths belonged to the marginalised section of the society and farmers with small landholdings. Nagra alleged the victims’ parents would somehow arrange the money to send their wards abroad, where they would land up in jail. Nagra said the travel agents would send the youths abroad on fake visas.

He alleged the youths had become victims of human trafficking, which is in gross violation of human rights.

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