Three cricketers grilled together, TV footage sought

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Three Rajasthan Royal players, S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan, arrested for alleged spot fixing in IPL cricket matches, were Saturday questioned in each others’ presence by Delhi Police, an official said.

The suspects confessed to their crime but blamed each other for dragging them into spot fixing, police sources said, adding that investigators have sought from a TV channel raw footage of three cricket matches during which the wrong doings allegedly took place.

Police said they will check the bank accounts of the arrested players and bookies to track the flow of money.

“The first match was spot fixed for Rs.40 lakh and Rs.20 lakh were paid. The second was fixed for Rs.40 lakh out of which Sreesanth got Rs.10 lakh from Jiju Janardhan, a bookie, and the third match was fixed for Rs.60 lakh but no money was delivered,” a police officer said.

He said they had very strong evidence against the players and bookies who indulged in spot fixing willingly for money.

The three accused cricketers, presently in police custody, were, during the day, brought before each other in a room in the office of the Special Cell of police in Lodhi Colony in south Delhi and questioned for two hours, the sources said.

This was the first occasion when the three players were confronted with each other since their arrest Thursday. They were questioned separately Friday, police said.

The accused’s interrogation was done under the supervision of Special Commissioner of Police S.N. Srivastava, police sources said.

During separate interrogation Saturday, 11 bookies, all of whom are in police custody, were also brought before each other, sources said.

On Saturday, Delhi Police approached the SET Max TV channel to get the raw footage of all the three IPL matches in which the alleged spot fixing took place. The matches played were played May 5, May 9 and May 15.

Police said they were sharing the case-related information with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“A BCCI investigator today (Saturday) approached us and the information related with the case were shared,” an officer said.

Police said seven bookies were arrested from Delhi and Gurgaon while the others from Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Bookie Ashwani Agarwal was arrested from Gurgaon. On his instance Amit Gupta, Ramakant, Love Garg and Ajay Goel were arrested from Delhi.

Delhi Police also conducted raids in several cities including Mumbai and Ahmedabad to track the money trail in connection with the alleged spot fixing racket, sources said.

A team of Delhi police went to the house of Chandila in Faridabad in Haryana. However, his family members were not present and the house was locked.

After the alleged fixing, the first installment of money was delivered at Chandila’s house, an officer said.

The three cricketers and 11 bookies, who are in five days police custody, were charged under penal provisions for cheating and criminal conspiracy.

If cheating charges against the accused are proved, they may get a maximum punishment of seven years each.

Delhi Police arrested the three players in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai May 16 for spot fixing in IPL matches for payments of upto Rs.60 lakh, just for giving away a pre-determined number of runs in an over.

Over the recovery and arrests made by Mumbai Police in the , a Delhi Police official said they have recovered all the things which were required to make the case against the accused strong.

The Delhi official said they will soon contact their counterparts in Mumbai.

Mumbai police have seized the mobiles, iPhones, laptops, data cards and other personal things allegedly belonging to Sreesanth and Jiju from a hotel in that city.

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