Ready to hand over cricket betting cases to CBI: George

Govt woke up to incident only after Oppn raised issue, says Shettar

Ready to hand over cricket betting cases to CBI: George

Home Minister K J George on Friday said the State government was ready to hand over cricket betting cases to the CBI for investigation.

Cricket betting is an international issue. Persons involved in it operate from Mumbai, Delhi and even from abroad. The government is serious about tackling the issue. It is not averse to referring such cases to the CBI, he added, intervening in a debate on the issue in the Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, Shettar, while making a preliminary submission seeking to move an adjournment motion on the issue, said cricket betting was rampant in the State. Influential persons, including some police officials, are supporting this illegal activity. Youth are going astray and spoiling their career because of this.

A Kannada news channel recently conducted a sting operation in Hubballi and exposed how influential people are involved in the racket. Instead of taking steps to arrest the culprits, the government has filed a case against the channel, he charged.

He said the government woke up only when the Opposition parties and the media raised the issue. Except for suspending one or two police officials, no action was taken to stop the illegal activity. Cricket betting continues in the State. It appears that the government is trying to shield those involved in betting, he said.

George tried to hit back raising the Lalitgate issue. “External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje have helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi get a visa. My party is not involved in any such acts. Shettar is trying to project cricket betting as a big issue for the sake of publicity,” he said.

This led to verbal exchanges between the members of the ruling and the Opposition parties. Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa intervened and said he would allow a discussion on the issue under a different rule on Monday.

Road accidents

Later, replying to a question by Congress’ K R Ramesh Kumar, the Home minister said as many as 25,808 people had died in road accidents since 2012 in the State. Of this, 19,958 cases are in the court, he added.

Cases of drunken driving are on the increase in the State: 7,893 cases in 2012, 8,077 in 2013 and 8,329 in 2014, he said.

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