Bhopal has become a den of IPL betting, two police raids on Wednesday bring to the fore the magnitude of the racket operating in the city. The sleuths of the crime branch arrested four persons and have seized Rs 9 lakh from their possession. This is the biggest seizure in betting at IPL matches.
The tall claims of the police department to deal with gambling and betting rackets in Bhopal fall flat as the cops have not arrested anyone offering their bookings in the matches. No common man is booked or arrested and only the bookies and the accused found on the spot are made accused in the betting and due to lack of evidence, those who offer money for betting roam scot free.
The accused were placing bets on the ongoing IPL matches on Wednesday night at Rachna Nagar under bridge when a team held them. In another raid, two men were arrested from Lambakheda. Over 60 men have so far been arrested by the crime branch in the IPL season.
The first raid was carried out at Rachna Nagar under bridge where police found two men placing bets on the match between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan royals. Police found Rs 7,95,000 with them and also mobile handsets and records of bookings. Two men managed to give cops a slip and the police are planning to declare a reward on him. The accused Puneet Vaswani and Pankaj Litoria were brought to the police station where they were quizzed and they revealed the names of the accused Rajji and Raka, both residents of Bairagarh. They are on the run. In another raid carried out at Lambakheda, the police arrested two men placing bets on matches between Rajasthan royals and Delhi Capital from Lambakheda and found Rs 1 lakh that was at stake. Police said the accused were identified as Ravi aka Rahul Rathore and Neeraj Panthi, residents of Bairagarh and Islami gate respectively.
The crime branch has so far arrested 60 people but have not been able to book any other persons who though were not on the spot but have connection with the racket. Additional superintendent of police (ASP) crime branch Gopal Dhakad said they will also trace the persons who offer money for betting. Retired city superintendent of police (CSP) Saleem Khan said it is very hard for the cops to trace records of the persons who offer money for the betting. Due to lack of evidence, it becomes tough for the police to take action against common men, he said.