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2,140 cases registered against unscrupulous travel agents in Punjab

2,140 cases registered against unscrupulous travel agents in Punjab

Chandigarh, Feb 21 (PTI) Over 2,000 cases were registered against unscrupulous travel agents in the last two years in Punjab, the state assembly was informed on Thursday.The Punjab government has cracked down in a big way against unscrupulous travel agents to register 2,140 cases since it came to power in March 2017, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said in the House during the ongoing budget session.Mohindra was speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in response to a call of attention notice moved by MLA Kanwar Sandhu.Of total, 1,107 cases had been filed under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 528 under the Punjab Travel Professionals Regulation Act, 2014 and 505 cases under the Emigration Act, 1983.On the recent case of four Kapurthala youths who, were fraudulently sent to Armenia by a group of travel agents, Mohindra apprised the House that three accused agents had already been arrested under the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012.The remaining would be apprehended soon. A Look Out Circular (LOC) had been issued and raids were being conducted, Mohindra said.All the victims had returned from Armenia and safely reached their homes on February 9, Mohindra further informed the House.Reiterating Amarinder's personal commitment to check exploitation of the state's youth at the hands of illegal travel agents, Mohindra said the state would also soon set up a corporation to provide skill training to youths to match foreign job requirements, the terms of reference for which were being finalised.Further, he said, the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012, and the Punjab Travel Professionals Regulation Act, 2014, had been enacted by the government, for which the rules had already been framed.Acting on the chief minister's directions, the state government had already issued a directive and advisory to all the top civil and police officials to crack down on illegal travel agents through a series of measures to ensure strict compliance with the laws and legislations governing the licensing and operations of travel agents. The measures include holding of educational seminars and publicity campaigns by the Punjab Police for educating the common people, especially the youth, about the activities of illegal agents.The 181 helpline, set up for the assistance of needy youth laid astray by illegal elements, was also being monitored round the clock, Mohindra added. PTI CHS VSD DPB