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IPL betting probe cop suspended

Chennai: In a curious twist to the IPL betting probe, a senior police officer of Tamil Nadu who had initially probed the Chennai angle was suspended on Friday.

G. Sampath Kumar, a former SP of the intelligence wing of Tamil Nadu police, who in a report to the Justice Mudgal committee claimed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was aware of a deal with Gurunath Meiyappan and a bookie named Uttam Singh alias Kitty, has been suspended pending disciplinary proceedings.

The officer had also deposed before the Justice Mudgal committee probing the IPL scam. He is presently posted with the security wing of the Railways at Tiruchy.

“There were reported meetings between bookie Vikram Aggarwal and Meiyappan. Vikram asked Meiyappan to talk to a few Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players and Meiyappan approached Dhoni and Raina at a party,” Sampath had told a TV channel.

The committee had sought a detailed probe into the match between CSK and Rajathan Royals (RR) in Chennai, which CSK lost after posting a low total.

The officer had suggested the Justice Mudgal committee be handed over to the National Investigation Agency. “I asked for an investigation by an agency like the NIA along with a joint investigation team.

“I had a feeling that this investigation was not (moving) in the right direction because the very FIR (filed by the Delhi police at the time of arresting Sreesanth and two other cricketers) mentioned match-fixing. It’s in the FIR itself but it was not probed properly,” he told the news channel.

According to police sources, Sampath Kumar was suspended after it was learnt that he had received money a couple of days after he had interrogated Kitty.

“On May 24, 2013 Rs 15 lakh in cash was deposited in a SBI branch in his account. Initially the manager had refused to accept so much cash, but Sampath Kumar had called the manager and convinced him to accept the same. He had also secured loans worth Rs 30 lakh for some close friends through Kitty’s contacts. We believe this money too could have gone back to him.

“Since a detailed probe was needed he was suspended,” said a senior officer.

Sampath had stumbled upon the betting while probing a fake passport case and only after questioning Kitty he took him to CB-CID. “When Vikram Agarwal was absconding he insisted that he would surrender only in Sampath’s presence, further strengthening our suspicion that Sampath could be involved,” said the officer.

It was also against service rules to give TV interviews without taking the permission of his seniors, it was pointed out.

In another development, the CB-CID issued summons to Meiyappan, Vikram Agarwal and Vindoo Dara Singh and a few others to appear before it for re-examination. It has already recorded the statement of Uttam Singh.

“We are in the final stages of our investigation and we expect to wind up the probe soon,” said an officer of CB-CID.