Another RCB cricketer questioned in battery case

Pomersbach’s teammate,K P Appanna,accompanied the Aussie to the door of Room 1640.

Written by Prawesh Lama | New Delhi | Published:May 21, 2012 2:01 am

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach,arrested for allegedly molesting an American woman and battering her fiance,was not the only cricketer involved in the incidents at a five-star hotel in Delhi late on Thursday.

Investigations have revealed that Pomersbach’s teammate,left-arm spinner K P Appanna,accompanied the Australian to the door of Room 1640 of the ITC Maurya at 6.17 am on Friday,police sources said. This was about 45 minutes after Pomersbach had left the room after the alleged fight in which the woman’s fiance,Sahil Peerzada,was injured.

The Sunday Express reported that CCTV footage from the hotel corridor shows two men with Pomersbach,one of whom was wearing black trackpants. This man,it turns out,was Appanna.

Appanna,23,made his first class debut in 2006. He played several games for RCB in the current IPL,taking 4/19 in a match against Rajasthan Royals. He was not a part of the squad that lost to Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad tonight,leading to RCB crashing out of the tournament.

Based on statements given by hotel security guard Vikas Yadav and the complainant,Zohal Hamid,police today questioned Appanna. The spinner is learnt to have told investigators in his statement that he had gone to the room to check if RCB owner Sidhartha Mallya too was involved in the incidents.

“The victim Zohal Hamid did not know Appanna. She claims that he came to the room along with Luke the second time. We have taken his (Appanna’s) statement and put in on record,” a police officer said.

Investigators today took the statement of Hamid’s boyfriend,Peerzada,who is recuperating at Primus Speciality Hospital in Chanakyapuri. Peerzada’s statement was nearly identical to that of Hamid’s,sources said.

“Security guard Vikas Yadav has said that he was asked to wait outside the couple’s room after Zohal Hamid first complained to hotel security about Pomersbach. When he saw Luke and the others going to the sixteenth floor (the second time),he accompanied them and prevented them from entering the couple’s room,” an officer said.

Police will file a chargesheet after crosschecking various eyewitness accounts. Pomersbach is learnt to be in Mumbai now,but he might be called back,officers said. Police have CCTV footage of Hamid running in panic,and Pomersbach holding a bottle of alcohol. The medico-legal case report issued by the capital’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital says Pomersbach’s “Alcoholic breath smell (was) positive”.

Police had earlier asked the hotel to provide details of the person who had booked the Dublin pub for that night’s celebrations. It has emerged that the pub had been booked by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Police have also received a written complaint from Hamid saying “foreign players” from RCB are threatening her and pressuring her to withdraw the complaint against Pomersbach.

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