New Delhi: A bookie arrested in connection with the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case tried to rope in Rajasthan Royals player Harmeet Singh but did not strike a deal as he felt he was "young" and could not do much for them, Delhi Police claimed on Saturday. Bookie Jitender Singh, alias Jeetu (38), who was arrested from Ahmedabad on Friday, also claimed he tried to strike deals with some players of 'Uva', a team in Sri Lankan Premier League, but was not successful, they said. These claims were made by Singh, who was allegedly into betting for the past 10 years, during his questioning by investigators of Special Cell.
Police also said they wrote a letter to Jaipur Police Commissioner asking him to investigate betting charges against Rajasthan Royals co-owners Raj Kundra and his actress-wife Shilpa Shetty. "We have given them the statement given to us by Kundra. As the incident took place in Jaipur, we have passed on the case to them," they said adding they have not found any evidence to link Kundra to spot-fixing.
Jeetu also allegedly made Rs 70-80 lakh through betting in the Mohali match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI in which Sreesanth "bowled a manipulated over", a senior police official claimed. Jeetu also told police that they decided to pay Sreesanth Rs 10 lakh out of promised Rs 40 lakh though he did not concede 14 runs as agreed earlier as they wanted to use him in other matches.
"He is an international player and to ensure that he does spot-fixing in future also. So, they paid him some money," the official said quoting Jeetu. The official said Chandresh Patel, who was earlier arrested in the case, introduced Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan and Harmeet Singh to Jeetu who met them separately in Mumbai.
"Jeetu had met Harmeet also. But he did not strike a deal and he told us that he was young and was doubtful whether he would be able do as they wanted," the official said. The police official said Jeetu told them that Chandila was very demanding and that made the bookies purchase gifts for him regularly.
Soon after Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan and other bookies, he fled and stayed in Lonewala, Mahabaleswar, Pune, Mumbai, Ludhiana and Bangalore before moving to Ahmedabad, his ancestral place, where he was arrested. During investigations, the official claimed, it also came to light that he bought another house in Navrangpura near Ahmedabad for Rs 1.5 crore.
Police claimed it had transcripts of telephone conversations to show that Singh was in constant touch with Chandresh Patel, alias Chand, and was fixing deals ahead of every cricket match. According to police, Singh was sponsoring travel and other activities of both the bookies as they provided him with an access to all the three cricketers. Singh, originally a resident of Ahmedabad, had been on the run for last 40 days and sleuths had been tracking him since then.
Police claimed his arrest may give fresh leads into the murkier scandal that rocked IPL cricket. Bookies Chand and Manan are out on bail and police may now ask them to appear before it for a fresh round of questioning, the sources said.
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