Champions League T20

Cricketer held for bomb threat

2009-10-17 15:20
Champions League T20 (file)

New Delhi - A cricketer from the Indian portion of Kashmir was arrested Saturday on suspicion of carrying explosives in his bag but freed hours later after questioning, police said.

The arrest at a stadium complex in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state, came hours before a Champions League Twenty20 match there between Cape Cobras from South Africa and Victorian Bushrangers from Australia.

Pervez Rasool, 21, was staying at the complex with Indian Kashmir's under-22s cricket team. He was arrested after a beeping metal detector, with a range of 300 metres, led police to his room, said Shankar Bidari, Bangalore police commissioner.

"No explosives were found in his bag. But explosives might have been brought in that bag or might have been transferred elsewhere. There may be some residue in the bag," Bidari said.

The bag is being sent to a forensic laboratory, with results expected in three to four days, he said.

"He is a free man. If the result is positive, we will again take him into custody," Bidari said.

Police also are checking Rasool's background.

Nearly a dozen militant groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict.

Saleem Khan, secretary of the Jammu-Kashmir Cricket Association, defended Rasool and said police found nothing in his bag.

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