Friday 18 October 2019

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Bogus cricket ticket row rocks Goa

 

The India-Australia cricket series is over, leaving behind one more controversy of a financial racket of thousands of bogus tickets sold in Goa, where India lost the one day international series to the Aussies.

Several cricket fans who came from all parts of the country had to go back from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, facing cane charge as well as tear gas from the policemen rather than enjoying sixers and boundaries of their favourite cricketeers.

Taking serious note of thousands of cricket fans being deprived of watching the crucial ODI, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has ordered a high level inquiry into the sale of bogus tickets.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has also demanded immediate arrest of all the office bearers of the Goa Cricket Association, charging them of a big financial racket. The Margao police have already registered an offence of forging the documents and cheating the people, but against unknown persons, pending investigation.

Dayanand Narvekar, the GCA chairman and a powerful politician from the opposition, has however said he is prepared for any kind of enquiry and investigation, while dismissing all the charges made against the GCA.

Though the official capacity of the stadium is only 30,000, even the commentators were saying repeatedly that it is packed with minimum 50,000 crowd. Besides this, at least 15,000 cricket fans had to go back as all the gates were closed by 8.30 am and the irate mob was dispersed by the police forcibly.

In spite of standing in a queue from 4.30 am, the cricket fans could enter the stadium only at 7.30 am after the police broke open the gate locks as the GCA claimed that they had lost the keys. In the bargain, the genuine ticket holders who came late could not enter the stadium as it got packed to its full capacity.

Owing no responsibility of what happened at the stadium gates, Narvekar now claims that maintaining law and order was the responsibility of the police and not the GCA. "We had hired the ground and the stadium and everything went off very peacefully inside", he says.

He does not deny that the GCA was also responsible to give entry to the ticket holders but prefers to blame the police for not taking serious cognisance of the complaint filed by the GCA two days before the event, with a proof that bogus tickets were being sold to the public.

Laxmikant Parsekar, the local BJP president, however alleges that it is not the police but the GCA office bearers who were responsible for the confusion over bogus tickets. "It is sad that the prestigious sports event of international importance was turned into a money-making business", he says.

Even chief minister Parrikar, heading the BJP government, dubs it as a big flop and a badly organised event, though Narvekar claims he has been congratulated by the teams as well as BCCI officials for organising it efficiently. "The issue is simply being politicised", he adds.






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