Written bySiddhant Pandey
The man, identified as Surender Pal, was caught on Tuesday for putting lizards in his own food to try and get free food from Indian Railways.
Pal drew authorities' attention for pulling the same trick too many times.
On Tuesday, Pal complained about finding a lizard in the biryani he purchased from Guntakal station, Andhra Pradesh.
According to South Central Railways, he claimed that he had fallen sick after consuming contaminated food and was admitted to a railway hospital.
However, a senior divisional commercial manager noticed that Pal's case sounded similar to another from a different division, which led to an investigation.
Thereafter, Guntakal division investigated a recent occurrence reported in Jabalpur. They approached Jabalpur division authorities, where a man had claimed there was a lizard in his samosa, and asked them to send the alleged victim's photo: Pal.
The Pune division also returned with Pal's photo in connection with a case where a man claimed to find a blade in his idli at Miraj station.
"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," Basant Kumar Sharma, Senior DCM, Jabalpur, told PTI.
Sharma added, "He turned out to be 70 plus and did it for free meals."
Pal was caught by railway authorities with the help of a stall owner. When senior officials at the Guntakal station confronted him, he confessed to cheating Indian Railways with false complaints and said he used "fish which cured mental illness" for his tricks.
In his defense, Pal said, "I have done a wrong thing. I'm an old man, I'm mentally unstable. I have blood cancer. Please let me go."
When questioned by officials on what it was that he put in his food for the tricks, he said, "In Punjab there is an ayurvedic medicine. I used a fish which cures bone diseases and mental illness."
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