Terror scare on eve of CL match; cricketer detained, let-off

Last Updated: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 08:26

Bangalore: A Jammu and Kashmir cricketer was on Saturday detained after traces of RDX was found in his kit bag but was subsequently released for lack of any evidence, prompting nervous organisers of the Champions League to delay the start of its Twenty20 matches.

The detention of Parvez Rasool, an Under-22 cricketer from militancy-hit state, threw the police into a tizzy with two League A matches of the high-profile tournament being scheduled in the M Chinnaswamy stadium where the player was staying.
Rasool, who hails from Brijbehara in South Kashmir, was
detained after detectors found traces of RDX explosive in his
kit bag during a routine security check this morning at the
stadium where the state team was staying, prompting the
authorities to get his background check done from home state.

Additional Police Commissioner (Law and Order and
Security) M R Pujar said after a thorough check of the
stadium, police declared the ground to be safe for the matches
to take place.

"Following a regulation security sweep of M Chinnaswamy
Stadium this morning, police was called to investigate a
suspicious bag.

"A young man was taken for questioning by police but he
has subsequently been released without charge. Police and
security experts have checked the stadium twice, as well as
the suspicious bag, but nothing of concern has been found. As
a result, the stadium has been given the all-clear for
tonight`s matches to proceed," Pujar said in a statement.

Earlier, Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari
said they detained the owner of the bag as they were in no
mood to take any chances with international cricketers playing
in the on-going Champions League.

"Though we have not found any explosives in the bag, we
suspect that some residue of the explosive may be in the bag
which may have been used in the past for carrying explosives
or transporting them elsewhere," Bidari told reporters.

"We have seized the bag and detained the owner, Parvez
Rasool, a first year BA student from in Anantnag district of
J&K for questioning," he said.

Bidari said the state police have already sent a
request to its counterparts in J&K to do a background check on
the player.

In a related development, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket
Association secretary Saleem Khan said nothing has been found
from the player picked up by the police for questioning.

However, Bidari said an explosive detection equipment
placed in the stadium had been emitting signals since last
night, indicating that there were some explosives within 300
metre radius of the ground.

"The authorities immediately informed the police who
found that the signals were emanating from room number 105 of
the stadium`s guest house, where Rasool was staying," he said.

"When the police team went inside the room, the signals
were traced to a bag. The bag was thoroughly searched but no
explosives were found.

"Police did not want to take any chance and therefore
detained Rasool for questioning," he said and added that the
entire stadium, including the spectator`s gallery, was
searched as a precautionary measure.

"Since the check has not indicated any explosives so far,
we have decided to permit the Champions League match to go on
under stringent security arrangements," Bidari said.

The incident forced the organisers to delay the start of
the Champions League match between Cape Cobras and Victoria
Bushrangers till police authorities gave the all clear signal.

The first match, originally scheduled to start at 1600
hrs IST, was delayed by alkmost two hours, which meant the
next game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi
Daredevils would also start late.

Because of the delayed start, the first match between
Cape Cobras and Victoria Bushrangers was reduced to a
17-over-a-side affair.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 08:26

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