Monday, April 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

ED seizes diary from Kalra’s home
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, April 16 — The match-fixing case took a new turn today with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seizing a diary from Rajesh Kalra’s house containing names of several bookies and other suspects allegedly involved in the scandal. The ED officials also interrogated a Delhi-based businessman whose name was reportedly mentioned in the diary.

The ED also recovered certain crucial documents pertaining to betting during searches and raids conducted at different places in the Capital on a tip off by Rajesh Kalra during his interrogation last night.

A list of persons who could be directly or indirectly involved in the case was given by Rajesh Kalra during the interrogation. All suspects named in the list have absconded.

The ED officials and the crime branch of the Delhi Police conducted raids at several places in the Capital, today. It was looking for a businessman suspected to be involved in the case, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Magistrate, V.K. Khanna has extended the police remand of Rajesh Kalra by another two days for further interrogation and investigation of the case by the ED. The ED was granted one-day police custody of Kalra yesterday by the Duty Metropolitan Magistrate.

The Public Prosecutor, Mr Subhash Bansal moved two applications in the court today, requesting further custody of Rajesh Kalra on the basis of certain documents recovered during the raids conducted in the Capital.

The prosecutor told the court that ED was questioning a businessman in the match-fixing case and had got some vital clues from him.

He told the court that the ED had to take Kalra to certain places and persons mentioned in the list for identification. The custody of Kalra was granted till April 18.

The court directed the ED officials to interrogate Kalra after a medical examination. The accused had moved an application that during interrogation he was mentally tortured by the investigating officials.

Kalra also told the court “the documents, including diary submitted by the ED officials before the court are not mine. These were not recovered at my instance. During the one-day police custody, the ED officials had interrogated me for only 10 minutes.”

“They tortured me mentally during the custody. They threatened to implicate me in FERA cases if I did not disclose everything. Whatever I know I have already told them”, Kalra told the court.

The ED officials have also been permitted by the court to interrogate Kishan Kumar for two hours daily after taking doctors’ permission.

Kishan Kumar was arrested on April 14 by ED officials and granted 14-day judicial custody by the Duty Magistrate.

He was admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital two days earlier after his discharge from Kailash Hospital in Noida. He is in the intensive care unit of the Cardiology Department of Apollo Hospital. He had complaint of chest pain and blood pressure.

“Kishan Kumar was examined by a panel of senior consultants today. He was thoroughly investigated. No abnormality has been reported so far”, a press note issued by the hospital said.

The final investigation will be conducted on Monday. The future plan of management will depend upon the results of these investigations”, the press note said.

The Special Prosecutor of the ED had moved an application before the court yesterday to shift Kishan Kumar to the AIIMS for medical examination by a panel of doctors.


PM: No proposal to legalise betting

NEW DELHI, April 16 (PTI) — Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the government has no proposal to legalise cricket betting.

“I have read some reports on cricket betting. The government has no proposal to legalise betting. We are all for eliminating this menace’’, Vajpayee told the national executive meeting of the BJP.

The remarks of the Prime Minister came a day after Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa stated that the government might consider making betting legal.


Scandal sparks racial attack
‘Indian’ official slapped, kicked in SA

DURBAN, April 16 (PTI) — The match-fixing scandal involving South African sacked skipper Hansie Cronje has provoked racial attack on a prominent cricket official of Indian origin here as White-dominated media continued to rally behind the disgraced cricketer.

Sadha Govender, chairman of the Kwazulu-Natal Cricket Development Programme, has alleged that he was slapped and kicked by Whites who shouted at him that “charros (South African slang for Indians) brought Cronje down”.

The incident took place during the first one-day match between South Africa and Australia on Wednesday night at the Kingsmead cricket ground, the official said.

Mr Govender said he was attacked by a group of white men after a function where 100 former players and officials of the former Black Natal Cricket Board and White Natal Cricket Association had assembled.

“I walked outside the suite where I encountered a group of white guys. One of them made a derogatory remark about Indians. There was no way I would keep quiet if an insulting comment was made against the Indian community and I responded”, he said.

“An argument followed and soon there was a large gathering of people around us. Someone slapped me and there was a lot of pushing and shoving.

The Cronje incident has provoked his fans, to whom the former skipper was torchbearer of South African cricket in particular and sports in general.

Mr Govender said the miscreants got restless when entire assembly started walking down the ramp.

“Someone shouted that Indians must be smiling about Cronje because “charros brought him (Cronje) down. The man then kicked me”, he told PTI in an interview.

The Chairman of Natal Cricket Development Programme said he looked around for policemen but couldn’t find any.

“Eventually the men who assaulted me disappeared and there was no way I could find them”, Mr Govender said and added that he reported the matter to the Cricket Union.

Kwazulu-Natal cricket managing director Cassim Docrat, who is also of Indian origin, said there had been a number of incidents between Indian and White supporters during cricket matches in the past.

“We will investigate this incident thoroughly”, he said.

“We can not afford this type of racial incidents. We are trying to foster racial harmony in sports”, Mr Docrat said.

Meanwhile, the match-fixing scandal involving Cronje continued to rock South Africa with the transcript of a purported conversation between Cronje and London-based Indian Sanjiv Chawla reportedly from a second tape making it to the front page of most newspapers.

The main Durban newspaper, “The Sunday Tribune” published the alleged taped conversations with a screaming headline: “Here’s the proof”.The paper also carried an editorial on the match-fixing scandal headlined “Plenty of questions, few answers” and queried “Will the bucks stop with Hansie?”

“The Sunday Times”, South Africa’s biggest Sunday daily, reported from New Delhi quoting noted lawyer P.N. Lekhi as saying the case could not go to court because of three reasons: match-fixing is not an offence in India, permission to tap telephones was name and place specific and in this case, Cronje was not the subject of a police investigation and that telephones could be tapped only if national security was at stake and this was not the case.

“Playing it by the bookie”, “The captain you can bet on” and “Cronje’s fall epitomises SA’s slide into immorality” were some of the headlines used by the newspapers on the scandal.

“The Sunday Tribune” in an editorial headlined “Cronje saga shows SA in dire need of moral regeneration” calls for regeneration of South African society.

A cartoon showing Cronje with a bat, helmet and his clothing plastered with dollars captioned “Hansie con, Yeah” is also carried in the paper.

KARACHI (ANI): Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum said in a radio interview that he had recommended punitive action against seven Pakistan Test cricketers, ridiculing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claim that it was facing setbacks to its efforts to delay the release of the inquiry report on match-fixing and betting allegations against some Pakistan players.

Justice Qayyum, however, refused to name the players but said he did not recommend strong action against the players, but instead had laid more stress on giving several proposals for the discouragement and elimination of match-fixing in Pakistan cricket.

The findings of the Lahore High Court judge are either lying with the government or the board since last October, when he submitted it to the Ministry of Sports after a year-long inquiry into the serious allegations. The PCB has claimed that it has not received the report as yet from the government. But Justice Qayyum said the report was with PCB chief Lt-General Tauqir Zia.

To a question, he said he did not understand the purpose of having the inquiry, when it was going to be kept in cold storage. “I don’t know why the report has not been released as yet, but clearly the PCB has some strategy and reasons for not making it public, since recommendations have been made for action against some players. Maybe the Board does not want to implement the actions recommended in the report.”

The people wanted to know the outcome of the report, the judge said. In the same radio programme, former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said no country had held such a detailed inquiry into match-fixing charges as had been done in Pakistan, but the report was still lying in the cold storage. He believed that Justice Qayyum’s report should have been made public before the 1999 World Cup.

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