Alexa Jamalpur Railway; a crime heaven

Jamalpur Railway; a crime heaven

Delowar Hossain,

Published: 16:42 6 November 2019   Updated: 14:54 12 November 2019

Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Jamalpur Railway Station — the country’s one of the most important railway station — where the main problem is ‘black market ticket’. There is a nuisance of mobile thieves, pickpocketers, robbers, drug dealers — in the evening, floating sex workers are gathered and the tyranny of the third gender group. In total, Jamalpur railway station has turned into crime heaven.  

For a long time, a cycle has been carrying out these illegal activities through a syndicate. It is alleged that the railway officials are the main culprit with these wrongdoings.

Jamalpur-Dhaka Railway operates 12 trains, including four inter-city, three mail, two commuters, and two local trains. People from Sherpur and Kurigram districts, including Jamalpur, used to travel by this railway. 

The Inter-city Teesta Express train is running in the right schedule where the  Brahmaputra, Agnibina, and Jamuna Express trains are running lamely. Even there is no locker system in these trains stinking washroom which has become inappropriate for use.

It is alleged that Jamalpur Station Master Shahabuddin is mainly involved with the black market. With his direction, the duty officials cut off 65 percent tickets before the sale of tickets to the passengers who are in line at 9:00 am every morning. Ticket selling ends shortly after the start.

In this case, those who stand at the forefront — get 30 to 35 tickets luckily. By cutting the advance tickets, they smuggled to the black market at a higher price, keeping the situation under control.

Besides, station master Shahabuddin has been accused of hoisting bills on fake vouchers by showing 200 liters of diesel a month. 

Retail tickets are delivered to black marketers through Gateman Kaila Ripon and Fakirpatti’s Blacker Liton is the head of this black market. The black market ticket sellers like Jamal, Liton-2, Jewel, Dulal, Harun, Kala Jonny, Robi, Shujon are collecting tickets through him from the station master.

Some of the leaders and booking staff of the Bangladesh Railway Workers League, who are reluctant to disclose names, said: “at the behest of the station master, some black marketers are given four inter-city train tickets daily.” The station master often hangs padlock out of his office room to avoid accountability.  

They also said “on the other end, renting people are also collecting tickets standing in line every day. The tickets were sold out by deceiving the administration.” In this case, the ticket is reached at different spots through a mobile phone. 

This situation is not confined not only in Jamalpur station but also in Sarishabari, Tarakandi, Melandah, Islampur and Dewanganj stations. 

Railway sources said that before the nuisance of the hawkers, beggars, mobile thieves ended at Jamalpur Railway Station, the gathering of sex workers began after dusk. They often take away money and mobile phones. They also harass in many ways. The hotel owners and local cycles are associated with them. 

Though the administration has been campaigning at various times to punish sex workers, black market ticket sellers, snatchers —  but there is no solution.

Regarding the sufferings of the train passengers, journalist and human rights activist Jahangir Selim said, “A cycle at Jamalpur Railway Station has been carrying out these misdeeds for a long time. Thus, they make thousands of money every day.”  

In this regard, trader Abbas Uddin said that he had to collect tickets by giving extra fare from the black market, as he didn’t get any ticket at station from Jamalpur to Dhaka. “I complained to the station master, but no remedy has not been done.” 

Regarding harassment on the train, Manik Mia, a student of the city, said the nuisance of beggars, hawkers, and eunuchs are continuously going on in the train. “The eunuchs boarded the intercity train from Jamalpur station and harassed the passengers. When they get out of the train, another group comes again. Up to Dhaka, their nuisance going on.”

Meanwhile, some police constables of Jamalpur GRP police station were also charged with ticket laundering. They advised travelers not to book tickets for non-seat tickets. Then the train arrived on the platform and sold tickets like hawkers.

However, Railway Police Station Officer Tapas Chandra Pandit claimed that none of the GRP police were involved in the incident. “Even then the allegations will be verified,” he added.

On condition of anonymity, an employee of the station said that Jamalpur station has been held hostage to a cycle for a long time. All the activities are going on under the direction of this cycle. “Officers are also involved with this cycle.”

Traveler Azizul Haque, who is standing on the platform, said that rail travel is safe. Travel costs are low. So even if he does not have a seat, he has to go to Dhaka for various emergency tasks. He alleged that the officers were treated abusively when asked about the location of the train at the station.

A member of the black market ticket seller, who is reluctant to disclose name, said that the Tk 190 ticket is being sold at Tk 500 to Tk 600, the Tk 225 chair ticket is being sold at Tk 800 to Tk 1000, and the Tk 350 first-class ticket is being sold at Tk 1200 to Tk 1500. 

Another black market ticket seller said, “As much as it is our fault. We don’t just get extra money. Many are involved with it. Why should we take all the blame?”

Jamalpur Station Master Shahabuddin claims that more than half the tickets are currently sold through online apps. And those who need, they buy tickets in advance. “Those who come last, do not get tickets. Again on Thursday, ticket crisis occurs on holiday or special day,” he added.