India games organiser questioned

Top official of Commonwealth Games taken in by police for questioning on corruption charges stemming from October event.

    The Games were marred by venue delays, poor organisation, and claims of massive financial irregularities [REUTERS]

    The top organiser of the Delhi Commonwealth Games has been taken in for questioning by police in a probe into corruption in the October event.

    Suresh Kalmadi arrived at the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi on Wednesday, where he will be quizzed by detectives over suspect contracts.

    The Games, which were marred by venue delays and poor organisation, were also hit by claims of massive financial irregularities as the budget ballooned to an estimated $6bn.

    In late December, two-and-half months after the end of the event, police raided several residences used by Kalmadi, leading to criticism that the CBI had waited too long to gather evidence.

    Kalmadi, a member of the ruling Congress party, has consistently protested his innocence.

    "I am ready for any investigation on any issue," he said after his homes were raided on December 24.

    "I am not running away," he added. "I am innocent till proven guilty."

    The Games' sacked treasurer, M. Jayachandran, and two other officials have been charged by police with corruption.

    The October 3-14 Commonwealth Games brought together athletes from 71 countries and territories, mostly from former British colonies.

    In the run-up to the games, the organisers of the games had come under harsh criticism over delayed completion of the athletes' village and other facilities. Several prominent athletes had even pulled out of the event, citing health and security concerns.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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