The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday caught the owner of a private travel company who gave the law a slip after conning crores of rupees out of hundreds of people in the Kashmir Valley.
Fabiyan Wahid Gilkar was arrested in Delhi and brought to Srinagar for his company, Al-Hajeej Tour and Travel Company, cheating people planning their Haj in 2011.
“Police received information that the accused, Fabiyan Wahid Gilkar, was trying to flee to Dubai. Acting on this information, a party from the Khanyar police station was deputed to Delhi to arrest the accused,” a police spokesman said.
Al-Hajeej had collected money from customers for organising Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, but did not provide any travel documents. The company managed to collect a staggering Rs 10 crore.
This was the first time such a scam was pulled off in the Valley and it created a huge uproar given the significance of the pilgrimage. People had not only been cheated but were unable to fulfill the religious obligation which sometimes takes years to plan.
Gilkar was initially arrested in Rajasthan in December 2011 but was granted interim bail, provided he deposited Rs 2 crore in the Sessions Court’s account and made the promised arrangements for Haj in 2012. Gilkar, however, disappeared without fulfilling the terms.
Two FIRs were registered in the Khanyar police station in Gilkar’s name, his company and some others for cheating.
“Nine more cases were registered in different police stations of Srinagar against this company on the same allegations. The challan of these cases were produced before the court of law,” the spokesman said.
Warrants were issued in the names of the accused after they didn’t answer court summons. A look out notice was also issued.
In April 2013, Jammu and Kashmir consumer protection commission ordered the auction of Al-Hajeej’s immovable property.
Around 300 people were reimbursed for about 50-75% of their money. One of them, Nisar Ahmad Dar said, “I, along with some others, received 74 percent of my money through court after owner’s property was auctioned. There are around 200 aspirants who have not received a single penny yet.”
The commission asked the Srinagar revenue department to also confiscate Gilkar’s property to repay those cheated. The property included a commercial building in a plush green area near Dal Lake, and some land.
Gilkar was produced before the principal sessions judge on Saturday who will decide the further course of action.