Monday, April 19, 2010

Bomb blasts & betting lobbies

The Karnataka police is probing whether the IPL ''betting lobby'' had a hand in Saturday's bomb blasts at M Chinnaswamy stadium following which two Indian Premier League semi finals to be played Bangalore were shifted to Navi Mumbai, Home Minister Acharya said on Monday.

Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya sees a conspiracy in the recent stadium blasts and announced that the State Police are investigating the alleged involvement of the cricket betting lobby.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Acharya said that the police were looking at all angles, including the betting lobby's role, in the low-intensity blasts outside the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

The police have intensified combing operations and additional information will come only after the probe is completed.

Expressing his annoyance over the organisers shifting the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-finals to Mumbai on the grounds of security fears, he said “minor incidents” such as detection of a few crude bombs could not be the only reason for the decision. “We had assured the organisers of all security; no bomb was found at the stadium. Some material was found, non-explosive in nature … such as sodium chloride. We are conducting a thorough investigation. There appears to be some other reason for the shifting of the IPL fixtures, which we will know once the investigations are over. Some frustrated elements could have been behind it,” he said.

Dr. Acharya was emphatic there was no connection between the stadium blasts and the serial blasts of July 25, 2008, which killed a woman in the city.

Two bombs exploded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium barely 45 minutes before the start of the IPL league match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians on April 17, leaving 17 persons, including security personnel, injured. The organisers went ahead with the match, albeit an hour late. Subsequently, the police found two live bombs on Sunday in the stadium's vicinity. (TheHindu)

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