Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IPL Spot Fixing Scam: Police Fighting Turns Intense

THE DAY-AFTER Taking on Mumbai Police on recovery of items, Delhi Police says Mumbai cops only trying to save their face

The turf war between the Delhi Police and its Mumbai counterpart over spot-fixing in IPL has turned murkier, with the probe chief SN Srivastava saying that the Mumbai cops are only trying to cover up their failure to unearth the scandal.

“They (Mumbai Police) are only trying to save their face. All this IPL spot-fixing was happening in Mumbai but they did not do anything. People should try to appreciate the good work done by the Delhi Police, which has shown a lot of ills that were going on in IPL,” Srivastava, the Special Commissioner of the Delhi Police Special Cell told ET on Monday. Making light of the Mumbai Police’s efforts in recovering the laptop, iPad and personal belongings of pacer S Sreesanth, and seeking the bowler’s custody from Delhi Police, Srivastava said, “What the Mumbai Police has recovered are only leftovers. A team of the Delhi Police, which stayed behind in Mumbai after the players were arrested and taken to Delhi, had already searched the three hotels in which the three players stayed and made all the necessary and relevant recoveries for the case. We have what we need for a strong case.”

Mumbai Crime Branch head Himanshu Roy had on Saturday put on display before the media the items recovered by his men from Sreesanth’s room. Roy had also said pointedly that the Delhi Police should be asked why it did not recover these items.

Srivastava, however, defended the Delhi Police’s decision not to involve the Mumbai Police in the operation. “Such secret operations in a high-profile case cannot be shared,” he said, adding, “We wanted to bring the players here without causing much attention.” The special commissioner also confirmed that the Rajasthan Royals management had lodged an official complaint with the Delhi Police on Monday that would be added to the existing first information report or FIR in the case. “That complaint from the team will strengthen our case against the three players. We already have complaints from members of general public that they had been cheated by the players after they went to see the IPL matches. Now, the franchisee is also complaining that it has been duped by the players,” Srivastava said.

The senior investigator added, though, that it would be “incorrect to say at this stage” that more IPL players were involved in the spot-fixing scam. “Right now, we only have evidence against the three said players,” Srivastava said. A former Ranji player was arrested on Sunday and another, Babulal Yadav, was being questioned regarding the scam, he said.

The Delhi Police have said that . 20 lakh has been seized from a cricket kit kept in the house of a relative of arrested cricketer Ajit Chandila, whose voice samples along with that of two bookies were taken to be matched with the tapped conversations that helped establish the illegal spot-fixing.

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