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Govt serious about cricket betting: Home Minister

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Belagavi:  Karnataka Government is serious about tackling cricket betting in the state and even ready to hand over the case to CBI, Home Minister K J George said here today.

Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar, raising the issue in the Assembly, said cricket betting is rampant across the state and alleged that influential persons and police officials were supporting this illegal activity.

“It is spoiling our youth and lives of many families,” he said.

Shettar also pointed out to a sting operation by a Kannada news channel unearthing alleged involvement of a senior police officer supporting cricket betting in Hubballi and alleged that government instead of investigating the incident has filed a case against the channel.

Government had last month suspended a Hubballi DCP and few constables for their alleged involvement in abetting cricket betting.

Kannada news channel had aired video footage of a purported sting operation by it showing DCP Hanumantharaya allegedly asking Rs 2 lakh from those who went in disguise as cricket bookies, to safeguard them from facing police action.

Intervening, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said that this issue cannot be discussed under adjournment notice, but he will give opportunity for debate under a different rule during the session in Bengaluru from July 13.

Replying to this, George said government is serious about cricket betting case and is taking action to stop it.

“Cricket betting is an international issue and persons behind it operate it from Mumbai, Delhi and in some cases from a foreign land. We are very serious about it,” he said.

“We are even ready to hand over the case to CBI, we don’t have any issue about it,” he said.

As opposition members alleged that influential and senior police officials were behind cricket betting and government was dragging its feet, George hitting out the opposition raked up the “Lalitgate” and mentioned External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s name.

This lead to a heated argument between both treasury and opposition benches, following which Speaker asked JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda to continue with the discussion on demands for PWD department.

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