Investigators today claimed that Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach,arrested on charges of molesting an American woman,had told them that he inadvertently touched the victim and was under the influence of alcohol when the incident took place.
Police sources also said that the name of Royal Challengers player K P Appanna has cropped up in the case after he was identified in a CCTV footage. He was allegedly seen accompanying Pomersbach to the room of the victim.
Pomersbach was arrested on Friday after Zohal Hamid alleged that he molested her and hit her fiance Sahil Peerzada when he objected to the cricketer’s behaviour. Peerzada was punched in his ear following which he had to undergo a surgery.
Sources claimed that the Australian cricketer,who is playing for Royal Challengers in IPL,has confessed to the crime. They said he told investigators that he was under the influence of alcohol and inadvertently touched the victim.
Pomersbach or his lawyer could not be contacted for comments.
On Appanna,a senior police official said,”We have examined the CCTV footages and identified Appanna. We have spoken to him. We are yet to formally question him.”
Appanna,a leg spinner who plays for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy,could not be contacted for his comments.
He was allegedly seen with Luke at the corridor of the hotel,the official said,adding they were yet to ascertain whether he entered the room where the victim was staying.
Zohal had alleged that some team members of Luke had pressurised her to withdraw the case against Pomersbach.
Investigators said Sahil is a friend of Royal Challengers owner Siddhartha Mallya. Siddhartha had allegedly invited Peerzada to the post match party at the five-star hotel where the incident took place.
On the sequence of events,the official said,when the alleged incident took place there were five persons Peerzada,Hamid,Sahil’s friends Moiz and Miraj,and Pomersbach.
Pomersbach returned to the victim’s room once after he allegedly misbehaved with the woman.
“When Pomersbach came for the second time,Appanna was with him,” the official said. Appanna had come to ask whether Siddhartha was there in the room,the official said,adding Hamid had also corroborated it.
Investigators said they have also recovered the statement of Peerzada’s friend Moiz.
Asked about Hamid’s allegations that Pomersbach’s teammates were pressurising her to withdraw the complaint,the official said police was not ruling out the possibility.