New Delhi: Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ishwar Singh, who busted the match-fixing scandal in 2000, here on Thursday claimed that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was also involved in the scam.
The officer, who was the first to be deployed in the anti-extortion cell of the Delhi Police in 2000, told IANS: “I saw Sanjeev Chawla for the first time in March 2000 at the Taj Mansingh Hotel. I was investigating an extortion case that had its roots in Dubai. During the investigation, I also got to listen to a conversation between Chawla and Hansie Cronje, the then skipper of South Africa cricket team, on international bookie Rajesh Kalra’s telephone.”
“One day I followed Kalra’s car. He was on his way to give Cronje a sim card through Chawla. That was for the first and the last time I saw Chawla,” Singh said.
The Delhi Police registered a criminal case for match-fixing on April 6, 2000, on my complaint, he said. When then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government got to know of the alleged involvement of many international cricket players in the match-fixing, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), he added.
If he would like to meet Chawla after 19 years, Singh said, “It all depends on the Delhi Police. I work as per the orders. But personally I would like to meet him and ask about Indian cricket players involved in the scandal.”
On Dawood Ibrahim’s involvement in the match-fixing scam, Singh said whatever he saw and heard of during investigation, he could say the underworld don was directly or indirectly involved in it. “I heard one of his henchmen talking over the phone about it,” Singh said.
Now as Chawla had been extradited to India, he might reveal something. The police could find out something about Dawood Ibrahim’s involvement, which could not be unravelled at that time “due to lack of evidence”, the ACP said.
On the outcome of Chawla’s extradition, Singh said, “It’s important to clean the gentleman’s game. 19 years ago, I did whatever I could. G. Ramgopal Naik, DCP Crime, worked hard for Chawla’s extradition from the UK. He might get something big out of him.”
BY SANJEEV KUMAR SINGH CHAUHAN