Saturday, April 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cassim denies match-fixing

NEW DELHI, April 14 (PTI, Reuters) — The names of seven more bookies have surfaced during the investigations into match-fixing scandal in which South African Hansie Cronje is alleged to be involved even as the role of underworld gangs is becoming more clear.

Official sources said Rajesh Kalra, the only accused arrested in the case so far, had revealed the names of seven more bookies in this connection.

With this the number of bookies allegedly involved in this has risen to 11, the sources said.

The bookies, whose names were not disclosed to the media as it could hamper the investigation, belong to Delhi and Mumbai (three each) and one to Madhya Pradesh.

The sources said one of these bookies had made a call to a Dubai number allegedly belonging to the Chota Shakeel gang from his mobile phone.

Police teams, camping in Mumbai and Bangalore, were checking on the calls made by these bookies from local mobile service providers, the sources said, adding the teams were hopeful that they would be able to get some vital clues soon.

The bookies chain is alleged to be extending from Mumbai to Madhya Pradesh and to Delhi, the sources said, adding the police was trying to find out if there were only missing links.

The role of some top bookies operating from Mumbai had been almost established in the scandal and police was gathering more proofs before zeroing in on them.

CAPE TOWN: A South African businessman alleged to be the go-between in the Hansie Cronje scandal denied any wrong-doing today and said he would cooperate in an inquiry into match-fixing.

Harim Cassim was alleged in newspaper reports to be the businessman who introduced the former South African cricket captain to London-based Indian bookmaker Sanjiv Chawla. Chawla has separately denied any involvement in match-fixing.

Cassim’s lawyer Itzie Blumberg told Reuters today that his client denied any involvement in the affair.

“It is totally untrue that my client has ever handed over any money or has knowledge of match-fixing,’’ said Blumberg.

“I’m preparing a statement for the commission. My client is prepared to co-operate fully.”

“There has been a suggestion in the Press that he is the South African businessman who introduced Hansie Cronje to the bookmaker overseas. My client emphatically denies that he is that man.’’

DURBAN: A South African newspaper yesterday named Cassim as the mystery third man in the match-fixing scandal and that he had links with Indian stars Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar, both of whom had reacted angrily and rejected any report of “linkage” with the Johannesburg businessman.

Indian cricket coach Kapil Dev, when contacted in the USA, said he knew Cassim. “He used to bring food for Indian team players when we went there in 1991-92,” he told PTI.

“Yes. I know him. But so do all other Indian players. He used to bring food for us in South Africa. But that does not mean I have any links with him,” Azharuddin was quoted today as saying by a newspaper.

“I really do not know how to react to these news items... It is very unfair to me,” he said in Bangalore.

Tendulkar was equally indignant: “I would prefer to be away from all this. If someone says he has met me and has photographed himself with me, it does not mean he is a great pal of mine. He has organised Indian food for the team, especially for the vegetarians. That’s all my relationship with him,” he told PTI in Mumbai yesterday.

South African Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour announced that the probe into the Cronje affair “would also investigate any other instances of dishonesty in South African cricket”.

The inquiry panel, to be appointed by President Thabo Mbeki, was expected to submit its report by May end, he said.



Kishan shifted to Apollo Hospital
From Syed Ali Ahmed

NEW DELHI, April 14 — Former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje had apparently sought details about the investigations carried out by the Delhi police before admitting his guilt to the United Cricket Board of South Africa.

According to Delhi police sources, Cronje’s lawyer had called up the Crime Branch of the Delhi police seeking details about the investigations carried out by them in the match-fixing case.

The Crime Branch received a call from Cronje’s lawyer in South Africa a day before he made his confession to the South African cricket board.

The lawyer wanted to know the evidences of match fixing and the basis on which the Delhi police had named Hansie Cronje in the scandal.

The police believes that Cronje probably admitted his involvement on the advice of his lawyer, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the arrest of Bollywood actor, Kishan Kumar, was yet to be carried out as he got admitted at Apollo Hospital in South Delhi after complaining of a cardiac problem.

He was admitted today at Apollo Hospital after being discharged from Kailsh Hospital in NOIDA. He had been admitted to Kailash Hospital on April 7 as he was suffering from angina problem.

At present he is in the intensive care unit at Apollo Hospital. Dr Ramanpuri, who is treating him, however, refused to divulge the details of his condition.

Kishan Kumar was admitted to Kailash Hospital on that very day when the Delhi police disclosed the match-fixing case before the media.

His name was disclosed during interrogation by Ramesh Kalra, the only accused arrested in the match-fixing case. Ramesh reportedly told the police that Kishan Kumar contributed more than Rs 40 lakh for match-fixing. 

Senior officials of the Crime Branch of the Delhi police are tight lipped about the new developments while there was a rumour at the police headquartes today that Kishan Kumar would be arrested today.

The Chairman of Kailash Hospital, Dr Mahesh Sharma, claimed before the reporters on Friday that Kishan Kumar was shifted to a Delhi hospital and the Crime Branch had taken over his custody.

However, Crime Branch officials said he had not been arrested so far. He was shifted to Apollo Hospital on the advice of doctors at Kailsh Hospital.

To a specific question whether the doctors would permit Kishan Kumar’s questioning by personnel of the Crime Branch in the hospital, Dr Puri merely said “Let us first examine him properly.”

Earlier, there was high drama while Kishan Kumar was being shifted to Apollo Hospital from Kailash Hospital as a large number of television crew and reporters chased his ambulance all the way to the hospital.

Minutes after he was admitted to Apollo Hospital, Bhushan Kumar, his nephew and son of music baron Gulshan Kumar along with lawyers reached the hospital and had a meeting with the doctors.

Meanwhile, some of the Crime Branch teams sent to Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi and Baroda are likely to return late tonight after completing their investigation at that end, police sources said.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |