Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

Indian IOA official, wrestling referee held for ‘assaults’ in Glasgow

Written by Shivani Naik | Glasgow | Posted: August 3, 2014 1:46 pm | Updated: August 4, 2014 1:53 am

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and an Indian wrestling referee, Virender Malik, both here for the Commonwealth Games, were arrested late on Friday night on separate charges of “assault”.

Though no details were provided, Mehta is believed to have been involved in an episode while driving his car, while Malik could be facing more serious charges. Neither is officially a part of the Indian delegation.

The Strathclyde police said in a statement that two men, ages 45 and 49, had been held in separate incidents of “alleged assault” at Glasgow on August 2. No details were provided.

The two would be produced in court on Monday.

An official who didn’t want to be named said: “What we heard is Mehta was driving his friend’s car, and met with an accident. He fled the scene and was later traced by the police to his hotel. He might not have been carrying his licence.” Mehta, who is learnt to be in Glasgow with his family and is staying at the Hilton, was reportedly coming back from a party hosted by the Gymnastics Federation of India. There was a hint that he may have been drunk.

Malik is reportedly staying at Queen Margaret’s Residence, a student accommodation, off the Great Western Road, as part of a two-member technical delegation comprising referees and judges. The student accommodation might have been the scene of the alleged misbehavior.

An official, who was to return to India along with Malik on Saturday morning, said the two had returned to Queen Margaret’s Residence after dinner the previous night. “I went to sleep around 11:30 pm. When I went to his room at around 5:30 am on Saturday, there was no response, and that is when I got to know of the arrest.” Malik was scheduled to board a flight back to Delhi at 7.50 am on Saturday. He was picked up around 2.30 am.

Indian Chef de Mission for the Games Raj Singh said neither Mehta nor Malik was officially part of the contingent. “One was a technical official, and the other can visit any Games city as part of IOA. We’re in the Games Village, and they were staying at hotels that are not around here,” he said.

The Indian consulate in Edinburgh has deputed an official to Glasgow to liaise with the police and is in touch with the team, Sports Secretary Ajit M Saran said.

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