Karnataka police probing if betting lobby behind blasts | india | Hindustan Times
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Karnataka police probing if betting lobby behind blasts

The Karnataka police is probing whether the "betting lobby" had a hand in Saturday's bomb blasts at M Chinnaswamy stadium following which two Indian Premier League semi finals to be played here were shifted to Navi Mumbai, a minister said on Monday.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2010 19:39 IST

The Karnataka police is probing whether the "betting lobby" had a hand in Saturday's bomb blasts at M Chinnaswamy stadium following which two Indian Premier League semi finals to be played here were shifted to Navi Mumbai, a minister said on Monday.

"Police are probing this (betting lobby) angle also," Home Minister VS Acharya said responding to questions from media persons here in the wake of reports that betting and sharing inside information was rampant in the multi-billion rupee IPL T20 series.

Acharya said since the matches were moved to Navi Mumbai shortly after two more bombs were found near the Chinnaswamy stadium Sunday, doubts have been raised whether a "powerful betting lobby" was behind the explosions.

He declined to give any details. "Investigation is in progress," he said.

Acharya said the state government tried to convince the IPL authorities on the security arrangements at the Chinnaswamy stadium, near which two blasts took place Saturday injuring 16 people and delaying start of the Royal Challengers Bangalore-Mumbai Indians tie by an hour.

"They have shifted the venue for their own reasons," he said.

The decision to shift the April 21 and April 22 semi finals to Navi Mumbai was announced by IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, a few hours after the Karnataka State Cricket Association president Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and secretary Brijesh Patel met the Bangalore police chief Shankar Bidari on the security issue.

Though Patel had said Bidari had assured full security and the semi finals will be held in Bangalore as scheduled, Modi announced shortly afterwards that the matches will be held in Navi Mumbai.