Actor Neetu Chandra was sitting at home, taking Tamil lessons for an upcoming film, when she learnt that she was embroiled in a match fixing scandal.
On Sunday evening, TV channels broke the news that the Indian actor has links with Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif, who has been accused of match fixing. A leaked document with cellphone details of the cricketer reportedly shows that two short calls had been exchanged between Neetu and Asif on the night of November 7 last year.
On learning about it, Neetu laughed it off, saying, “Who is on earth is Asif?”Her publicist, Dale Bhagwagar, says he then downloaded a picture of the cricketer and showed it to her. "Her first response was, ‘Arrey, yeh kitna kaala hai’. She did not even recognise him. She does not have any interest in the sport and does not recall such a phone call."
He adds that even if such a call was made, it does not justify her involvement in the match-fixing scandal. “This is a world where even a SIM card can be duplicated. Even if there was a call, how does it imply match-fixing?”
Neetu feels the allegations are part of a conspiracy. “Is the leaked document even authentic? Some say it leaked from Scotland Yard, others say it was the Pakistan Cricket Board. Neetu wants an Indian agency to step in and find out the truth,” says Bhagwagar.
However, sources close to the cricketer think there may be some truth to the link. “I was aware that he spoke to Indian girls. He would say they are his fans,” says Sohail Rasheed, Asif’s former manager. The cricketer’s ex-girlfriend Veena Malik, who gave evidence against him in the match-fixing case, says, “I saw an Indian number in his phone records once; he said it belongs to an Indian actress who is his fan and calls him.”