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Senior citizen who used to put lizards in his own food on trains to get free meal caught by railway officials

A senior citizen named Surender Pal, in his 70s was found guilty of contaminating his own meal to get free ones from the national transporter. The matter came to the fore when a senior divisional commercial manager noticed the uncanny similarity in the modus-operandi in the cases that were transpiring for a while.

A string of unusual incident where “lizards” were being found in railway food was finally unriddled after a senior citizen, who was supposedly a regular offender, was rounded up by the railway authorities.

A senior citizen named Surender Pal, in his 70s, was found guilty of contaminating his own meal to get free ones from the national transporter. The matter came to the fore when a senior divisional commercial manager noticed the uncanny similarity in the modus-operandi in the cases that were transpiring for a while.

“He was the same person. He claimed to have found a lizard in the samosa he ate at Jabalpur station on July 14. Then he complained that a lizard has been found in his biryani at Guntkal station. I became suspicious and alerted the senior DCM and shared the man’s photo. He turned out to be 70 plus and did it for free meals,” Basant Kumar Sharma, Senior DCM, Jabalpur, told PTI on phone, adding that it seemed Pal was doing this for some time.

After some senior official at the Guntkal station accosted Pal, he confessed to his nasty prank, which he had been carrying out for a while now. The officials even recorded a video, in which Pal is heard not only confessing to the crime but also saying he has been using a “fish which cured mental illness” for his tricks.

In the video, the officials at the Guntkal station can be seen explaining to the man that railways is a national pride and it belonged to the public.

Though Pal was chastised for giving railways a bad name, he was also assured that no action would be taken against him if he promised to mend his ways.

In the video, Surendra Pal is heard admitting to the nasty prank he carried off to procure free meals from the railways and is also heard apologising for the same. Claimed to be mentally unstable, he begged for forgiveness from the railway authorities, “I have done a wrong thing. I am an old man, I am mentally unstable, I have blood cancer. Please let me go. In Punjab, there is an ayurvedic medicine. I used a fish which cures bone diseases and mental illness,” said Pal.

Pal also claimed his father was a senior DCM, to which officials said it was not right for him to fraud the railways that was like his family.

Railways have until last year received more than 7,500 complaints from passengers over bad quality of food served on trains. The railways, in turn, had imposed Rs 15.5 million fines on vendors, warned 2,322 of them, terminated the contract of one and found 555 complaints unsubstantiated until October last year.

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