Cops seek extension of players' custody

Extension of Rajasthan Royals cricketers Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan’s police custody will be sought on Monday for probe into spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League, police said.

Sreesanth, Ajit and Ankeet were produced before Saket court on May 16 and were sent to five days police custody by chief metropolitan magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma. The custody will expire on Monday.

“We will seek their police custody for another week to unearth the conspiracy,” sources said. Police said the players are cooperating with investigators but Ajit has proved to be a hard nut to crack. “Investigators are now confronting the players with each other to extract more leads,” sources added.

Police had earlier sought seven days’ police remand contending that they have collected mobile phones and laptops, and the data from laptops, all which are in code words and needs to be recovered.

A case under sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was filed with special cell police station. Police are also preparing to charge the cricketers under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The FIR was registered on May 9 on the complaint of inspector Badrish Dutt, who died under mysterious circumstances on May 10, but no player or bookie was named.
“Match fixers and bookies from Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, among others and some players participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have joined hands to indulge in spot and match-fixing,” it stated.

The FIR said the special cell received information in the “third week of April that certain members of the underworld” were involved in “some sort of fixing” in the ongoing IPL with active participation of some unidentified conduits based in Delhi.

“Such acts will amount to cheating innocent and sports-loving people of their hard earned money which is spent in buying tickets. Large number of people watch the matches, purchase costly tickets, and expecting them to be played fairly,” the FIR stated.

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