CM suspects 'insider' in bogus ticket racket

| 09 April 2001 23:05 IST

Police investigations into the sell of bogus tickets of one-day international cricket held in Goa last week appears to have been pointing towards the Goa Cricket Association, though no person has been charged for it till date.

Though he also did not state anything specifically, chief minister Manohar Parrikar did not rule out the possibility of the GCA itself being involved in the bogus ticket racket, which deprived thousands of cricket fans from watching the crucial match.

Total confusion at the gates of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here in Margao on 6 April had ultimately resulted into the police resorting to cane charge and bursting tear gas shells to disperse the mob of around 10,000, most of whom were holding genuine tickets while the stadium was already overpacked beyond its capacity of 30,000.

"The police has found a definite clue. What remains is to make the clinching evidence available", stated Parrikar today at a hurriedly called press conference. He also admitted that the GCA's role is being suspected as the organising body of the ODI here was not co-operating with the investigation process.

Vinod Fadke, the secretary, and Rama Shankardas, the treasurer, today appeared before the police after hoodwinking the investigating authorities for two days. Meanwhile, the GCA office was sealed temporarily, in order to seize the material related to the match.

The police have established a fact that bogus tickets were sold while also confirming that the tickets were printed in Hyderbabad. "Most of these bogus tickets were also sold outside Goa", states Parrikar.

Going a step ahead, the CM states that he has been informed by one BCCI official that such bogus tickets were sold throughout the Australia-India cricket series held in the country. "This is the first time somebody has dared to probe it", he states proudly.

Replying to a pertinent question of whether the political bigwigs would also be punished since Dayanand Narvekar, the opposition MLA, is the GCA president, Parrikar said : "There is no question of sparing anybody as there is no political intereference of any kind in the inquiry".

Most of the GCA office bearers however are feeling hurt with these developments as, according to them, the whole organisation is being defamed for the negligent attitude of one or two persons, who were responsible for the security and printing of tickets.

One of these office bearers said they would ask for their head if any of their colleagues is found to have been involved in the bogus ticket racket. Though GCA is yet to meet officially and announce its stand, they suspect the contractor of printing the bogus tickets.

"Why were the tickets of only Rs 200 were not stamped by the contractor", ask the GCA officials, while also blaming the police for not taking action against the contractor in spite of a compalint. Parrikar however says that somebody 'insider' is involved in the racket.

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