Chennai: Southern Railway on Saturday said women passengers other than essential services staff would be allowed to travel in suburban train services during non-peak hours with effect from November 23.

Southern Railway, in a press release, said, it has scaled up the number of suburban services in Chennai to 244 trains per day which were 40 percent to the pre-COVID/-19 levels aimed at serving the essential services staff of both government and other organizations.

Women passengers will now be allowed to travel in Chennai Suburban trains during non-peak hours from Monday to Saturday and to travel throughout the day on Sundays, a press release said.

They will be allowed to travel before 7 am and after 1030 am till 4.30 pm and after 7.30 pm till 12 am Monday-Saturday.

They can use their season tickets for traveling or on the purchase of single journey tickets. Children up to the age of 12 are also allowed to travel with them during non-peak hours.

Southern Railway has appealed to the passengers to follow COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and cooperating with railway employees for checking valid documents during their travel.

With effect from September 7, Southern Railway had announced the resumption of train services on select routes in Tamil Nadu in line with the state government lifting the COVID-19 lockdown induced suspension.

In October, Southern Railway had resumed suburban train services only for essential staff to commute to and from work.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami had written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to grant permission to resume full-fledged operations of the suburban trains in Chennai in October.


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Bengaluru, Jun 12: Karnataka police on Saturday said they have busted a Rs 290 crore plus scam that involved duping people through a mobile app after promising attractive interest on investment and two Chinese nationals were among the nine arrested.

The scam, aided by shell companies, is linked to money laundering and the suspected kingpin is a Kerala based business man with proximity to Chinese 'hawala' operators, they said.

Cyber Crime Division of CID said it has arrested accused persons, including two Chinese nationals, two Tibetans and five others acting as directors of the companies involved, and a search is on for the rest.

A complaint from Razor pay Software Private Limited said accused persons availed 'payment solutions' from them, claiming that they are in gaming, social and e-commerce businesses.

They, however, defrauded the company by using computer resources and by deviating from their original, registered line of business, the plaint said.

They started routing their transactions to collect payments from a different business named "Powerbank", an app listed in Google Playstore, cyber police said in a release.

Through customer complaints, the complainant company got to know that public invested money in the "Powerbank" app to earn interest on the invested amount.

The accused persons, after accepting the investments, neither gave the agreed interest nor the principal amount and cheated customers.

A case was registered under the Information Technology Act and 420 IPC (Cheating), the CCD said and added that the investigating team were successful in arresting nine men.

During investigation, it was found that Anas Ahmed, a Kerala based businessman, is the main person involved.

"We have also identified that he has very proximate connections with the Chinese hawala operators, which has come to light during the course of the investigation.

He had opened shell companies in the name of Bull Finch Technologies, H & S ventures and Clifford ventures to route the fraud money. Anas Ahamed is married to Chinese national and incidentally he did his studies in China," police said in the release.

Online applications hosted by him were later camouflaged and converted into different apps including Power Bank application, seeking investment from the public and promising good returns, the CCD said.

An unusual spike was seen in investments on the day Anees Ahmed announced much higher returns.

Subsequently, such apps were removed from Google Playstore and other websites and he absconded with the money.

Investigation showed Rs 290 crore inflow into his bank accounts and the CCD was successful in freezing a significant portion of it. There was a huge spike in opening of shell companies since November 2020.

"We have also observed that the Chinese handlers are in possession of a huge number of shell companies and bank accounts. Lured by the offer of the Chinese nationals, many innocent Indians and Tibetans have fallen in their trap to open shell companies and open bank accounts for them."