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Bangalore blasts: Police probing if betting lobby involved

Last Updated: Monday, April 19, 2010 - 19:06

Bangalore: A miffed Karnataka government
today said police are investigating whether "betting lobby" is
behind the blasts here that led to the shifting of the venue
of IPL semi-finals to Mumbai on security grounds.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa last night
appealed to IPL authorities not to shift the semi-final
matches and promised to provide adequate security against the
backdrop of two low-intensity blasts near Chinnaswamy cricket
stadium on Saturday.

Voicing the state government`s displeasure, Home
Minister V S Acharya said "Police are probing this (betting
lobby) angle also."

He said the state government had done its best to
convince the IPL authorities about the security arrangements,
but they have shifted the venue "for their own reasons". The
IPL is already facing allegations from Opposition parties that
it is a "gambling and betting" ring.

Local investigators meanwhile believed that perpetrators
of the explosions may have plotted the incident to create a

An estimated 30 to 35,000 spectactors had gathered at
the stadium to watch an IPL match between home team Royal
Challengers and Mumbai Indians. Following the blasts, two
semi-finals slated for April 21 and 22 have been shifted from
to Mumbai.

"The blasts does not appear to have been carried out by
trained terrorists. The effort of the perpetrators appears to
be to create stampede," an investigator said.

After chairing a high level meeting with top police
officials last evening, Yeddyurappa told reporters, "Bangalore
is a secure city and there is no need for any unnecessary

The incident is a minor one. Bangalore Police is capable
of handling any event. The Karnataka government and police are
committed to providing security for IPL matches."

"I will appeal to the IPL organisers not to shift the
matches from Bangalore and stage it in the city. The state`s
prestige is involved here. We are ready to provide necessary
security for these matches," he added.

He described as "far from truth", BCCI Vice President
Rajiv Shukla`s statement that the matches were shifted after
Police Commissioner (Shankar Bidari) had expressed
apprehensions over security for semi-final matches.

Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari also asked IPL to
reverse its "unfair" decision saying it was taken on the basis
of "baseless and false presumption".

"If they don`t revise the decision to shift, I am afraid
BCCI will be committing a serious mistake and will be
besmirching the fair name of a secure city like Bangalore," he
said in a statement here.


First Published: Monday, April 19, 2010 - 19:06
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