Close on the heels of CID investigations in Karnataka revealing links between senior state police officers and the illegal lottery mafia, a case has been registered by the CID to probe links between police officers and the cricket betting mafia.
In the light of a television sting operation exposing policemen seeking money to provide protection for cricket betting in the north Karnataka city of Hubbali, the CID police, on the directions of the Siddaramaiah lead Congress government, has registered a case against three constables and a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
A CID team lead by a superintendent of police raided the residences of the three police constables – A Narendra, M D Kalavada and Basavaraj Koravar – on Saturday. The constables along with DCP Hanumantharaya were placed under suspension by the government three days ago after they were caught demanding bribes by TV journalists posing as cricket bookies.
“We have registered a case regarding cricket betting and an investigation has started. A police team conducted searches at the residences of policemen accused in the case on Saturday,” said Hemanth Nimbalkar, Deputy Inspector General of Police in the CID.
A local television channel in the course of an alleged sting operation had contacted A Narendra, a constable attached with the Hubbali Town police station seeking protection for two employees who were posing as cricket bookies. The constable allegedly demanded Rs 5 lakh to support their illegal business in Hubballi city. The constable later scaled down his demand to Rs two lakh and arranged for a meeting of the “cricket bookies” with DCP Hanumantharaya. The DCP was then caught on camera sitting in his official car and negotiating with the “cricket bookies” for a Rs two lakh payoff.
The private television channel aired their sting operation on June 4 and the Hubballi city police commissioner Ravindra Prasad suspended the three police constables on the same day. The next day DCP Hanumantharaya was also suspended on the basis of a report from the state DG and IGP Om Prakash.