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Accused photographer says he’s being framed

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2010 00:38 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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Dheeraj Dixit, the New Delhi-based freelance photographer who has been accused by Veena Malik of being involved in match-fixing, says he was trying to expose the incident instead and has received death threats after Asif's former girlfriend named him in the scandal.

“I got calls from someone last night who spoke to me in Hindi and told me not to be oversmart. Or else, he threatened, I would be risking my life,” Dixit told HT from London. Till the afternoon, Indian time, Dixit didn't lodge a complaint with the police, saying he would do so if he gets another call.

He said he was in England to cover the Pakistan-England series but had to restrict himself to off-the-field pictures because he didn’t get accreditation. While doing so, he heard from his sources that “something was wrong” with the Pakistani team and he reached the London restaurant where Mazhar Majeed met some of the Pakistani players.

“I have pictures of Majeed with Wahab Riaz and Umar Amin where Majeed takes his jacket off and shows the players something. I was negotiating with some Indian news channels for those photographs but talks failed. If I were involved in fixing, would I try and expose it?” Dixit said.

Dixit, who claims to be well-known to several Indian and Pakistani players including Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he was once approached by Malik to help her “sell” certain match-related information. “I was in Dhaka last January (for a tri-series involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) when Malik called me and said she had information on how things would unfold in Pakistan's series against Australia.

“She asked me whether I knew anybody in India who would be interested in buying such information. Following a journalist's instinct, I told her I could help only if she gave me the names of the players involved and Malik said she would call later. That call never came,” said Dixit, adding that he kept quiet about it because there was no evidence.

“Similarly, to substantiate her claim that I am involved in match-fixing, she has to produce evidence. And before pointing a finger at me, people should check Malik's credibility,” Dixit said. He plans to take legal action after returning home next week.