7 months after police complaint, admission tout still a free man

Even after seven months of receiving a complaint, Juhu Police are yet to arrest a tout who lures and dupes parents promising admission to children to good schools in the western suburb.

Jamnabai Narsee School management claimed it lodged a complaint at Juhu police station in June 2012.

"The management also provided numbers from which parents reportedly received calls. We hope the matter is resolved early," said a school spokesperson.

The matter came to light after actress Renuka Shahane lodged a complaint at Versova police station in January after she received a call from the tout offering to facilitate admission of her two sons, students of Billabong High International School, to Jamnabai. Later, another two parents lodged police complaints.

"One of the parents has admitted to paying Rs 1.5 lakh to the tout. We were verbally alerted by the trustee of Jamnabai Narsee School a month ago," said Arun Bhagat, senior inspector, Juhu Police station.

Both Versova and Juhu police are on the lookout for the conman, who identifies himself as `Soni'.

"I got a call from Soni in October. I first refused to talk to him. He called again and claimed he is very close to the trustees of Jamnabai Narsee School and promised a seat in class V for Rs 5 lakh. The third time he called he offered me the same seat at Rs 2 lakh," said a parent of a Billabong High International School student.

A majority of those approached by Soni are parents of Billabong students. There is a fear database of students and contact details of parents may have been stolen.

"It is shocking that a stranger has access to the school database. This cannot happen without the help of an insider," said another parent.

According to the complainants, Soni did not just have names and phone numbers, he also had residential addresses of parents. "We have been facing this problem for over two years. We keep receiving complaints from parents of calls from touts every admission season. Parents of our Santacruz school too have received such calls. We are checking how he (the tout) is able to get contact details of parents from our school," said Lina Ashar, founder-chairperson of Kangaroo Kids, which runs Billabong schools.

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