About two months after the Delhi Police arrested Rajasthan Royals cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on charges of spot fixing, it has named underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, his aide Chhota Shakeel, as well as the three cricketers, in a 6,000 page charge sheet.
Though Sreesanth and Chavan were granted bail by a local court, Chandila continues to be in judicial custody. Now, the police has asked the court to cancel the bails granted to Sreesanth and Chavan. It has also secured non-bailable warrants against Dawood and Shakeel. The charge sheet includes confessional statements of the accused, voice samples for forensic examination, telephonic conversations and other forensic reports. The Delhi Police has named Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid as a prime witness in the case.
Apart from the three Rajasthan Royals players, the police has also named Ashwani Agarwal, Ramesh Vyas, Deepak Kumar, Sunil Bhatia and Firoz Farid Ansari for allegedly acting as bookies and former Ranji player Baburao Yadav for his alleged role as a go-between’ for bookies and players.
In the course of its investigation, the police had, through phone records of bookies and these Rajasthan Royals players, found they were in touch with two Dubai-based bookies — Sunil Abhay Chandani, alias Sunil Dubai, and Suresh Nagar, alias Junior Kolkata, who were constantly in contact with Dawood and Shakeel in Karachi. Delhi Police believes through bookies and various players, Dawood is directly involved in betting huge sums in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
During the forensic examination of Chandila’s phone, investigators found the Rajasthan Royals player had spoken to bookies during the 2012 season of IPL. Senior officials had said Chandila had met a bookie in Gurgaon, on being asked by Sreesanth.
Police officials have said they have evidence suggesting both Chandani and Nagar were acting as links between bookies in India, Karachi and Lahore. Investigators of the special cell said Chandani was a frequent traveller between Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai and London. The police have also found during the spot-fixing deals, about 50 calls were routed through Pakistan.
Investigators found there were more than 15 instances of spot fixing during the last IPL season. But as they could gather concrete evidence against Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan, action was taken only against them.
On the night of May 16, Delhi Police officers had arrested Sreesanth, along Chandila and Chavan. While the news of the arrests came as a shock to team members, the owner of the Rajasthan Royals franchise, Raj Kundra, was also questioned by the Delhi Police for allegedly being involved in spot fixing.
“We have moved an application requesting the court to cancel the bails granted to 21 people, including the two cricketers in the IPL spot-fixing case,” said S N Srivastava, special commissioner of police (special cell). Earlier, the court had granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and several bookies on June 10, after it found the police didn’t have much evidence against the accused to charge them under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. The court had said there wasn’t sufficient evidence against the accused to link them to organised crime.