Foreigners cheated in Sonepur fair, rescued by Bihar police

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Sonepur, Nov 18 (UNI) The unsung owner of a small foodstall in the famous cattle fair here has earned the dubious distinction of perhaps the world's most cunning cheat when he sold four samosas to a Dutch couple at a whopping price of Rs 10,000 against their actual cost of Rs ten only.

The middle-aged couple from the Netherlands arrived at the fair ground on Saturday via Raxaul in north Bihar after holidaying in Nepal and Bhutan and intended to spend a few days at the fair without having any idea about what awaited them during the next 24 hours.

The fair, the largest venue for selling different kinds of birds and animals, including elephants and horses, attracts millions of visitors from the country as well as abroad every year.

As the unsuspecting Dutch couple wanted to try some Indian snacks, one of the makeshift foodstall owners suggested them to try samosas and offered them two each on a platter.

After enjoying the local cuisine, when the couple wanted to pay for the food, the stall owner presented a bill of Rs 10,000, asking them to pay a whopping Rs 2,500 for each of the potato stuffed fried flour snack.

Realising that they were being cheated, the couple raised an alarm and refused to pay the amount initially. But soon they had to relent to the stall owner and his friends' pressure and had to dole out the amount in total disgust.

But the matter was also noticed by a police constable who was incidentally passing by. Understanding that the couple had been cheated by the gang, the constable soon brought the matter to the notice of local Sub Divisonal Police Officer (SDPO) P K Das, who lost no time in rushing to the spot with police force.

Seeing that help was forthcoming, the couple immediately lodged a formal protest with the SDPO following which the dishonest shopkeeper was arrested. He was also forced to return Rs 9,990 to the cheated visitors after deducting the actual price of four samosas.

However, immediately after the incident, the couple left the fair along with several other foreign visitors, thanking the alert police for their prompt action in preventing them from being cheated by unscrupulous shopowners.

The incident has caused an uproar among the people as well the administration following which necessary steps were being taken to prevent recurrence of similar incidents as it was bound to tarnish the image of the state.

UNI ABA DPM RD 1358

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