Spot-fixing net widens with 4 more arrests

Spot-fixing net widens with 4 more arrests

The delhi Police have arrested four more people for their alleged links with Rajasthan Royals cricketers S Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case. The accused have been identified as Sreesanth’s friend Abhishek Shukla, and Ajit’s friends Vicky Chowdhury, Nitin Jain and Vinod Sharma.

Event manager Abhishek Shukla’s name cropped up during Sreesanth’s interrogation at the special cell’s office in Delhi. He was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly hiding or destroying evidence from Sreesanth’s Sofitel Hotel room in Mumbai and keeping money that was paid to the cricketer by bookies.

Sreesanth was staying at the hotel with close friend and bookie Jiju Janardhan. In one of the conversations, Janardhan asked Shukla to clean Sreesanth's room immediately after the cricketer was arrested on May 16. Malayalam film actor Rajeev Govinda Pillai was with Sreesanth at the time of his arrest, and he had informed Janardhan, it is reported. Rajeev has no role in spot-fixing, police said.

“During questioning, Shukla revealed that he was asked by Janardhan to hide some money and belongings of Sreesanth. He has played a role in hiding the items,” said S N Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (special cell).

Sreesanth and Shukla have been friends for almost six years and several bills of parties thrown by Sreesanth were footed by Abhishek; his PAN card number was mentioned in the bills. The Sofitel room had been booked for Sreesanth since May 13, and police are probing whether it had been reserved by a bookie to discuss spot-fixing. It has come to light that the hotel’s bill was paid in cash the morning after Sreesanth was arrested.

Police say they have CCTV camera footage of Janardhan and Shukla entering Sreesanth’s hotel room, which bolsters their claims. Shukla has been taken to Mumbai to recover the Rs 5 lakh and Sreesanth's belongings he had been given to keep safe. He has also been booked under Section 201 (offences related to tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, contrary to Mumbai Police's claims, Delhi Police said that they have no evidence to link Sreesanth to arrested Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh.
Delhi Police have also arrested bookies Vicky Chowdhury, Nitin Jain and Vinod Sharma following the interrogation of Ajit Chandila and bookie Bhupender Nagar.

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