Investigations into the spot-fixing scandal have now put a prominent Chennai hotelier under scanner. According to the Chennai Police, hotelier Vikram Aggarwal, who owns a franchise of Hotel Radisson Blu and other properties, has been active in betting circles.
The police say that Mr Aggarwal introduced small-time actor Vindoo Dara Singh to Gurunath Meiyappan or betting. Both the actor and Mr Meiyappan are in police custody and are being interrogated.
Mr Aggarwal's lawyer Abudu Kumar Rajarathinam said that his client was picked up from his residence yesterday by the CB-CID (Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department) of the Tamil Nadu Police. The lawyer said some media reports that Mr Aggarwal was absconding, are not true.
The cops have, however, refuted the allegation. ''We have not arrested Vikram Aggarwal. His lawyer can claim anything but that is not true," said Deputy Superintendent of Police, CB-CID, Venkatraman.
The CB-CID has issued summons for May 30 to Mr Aggarwal for inquiry in connection with the betting case.
A few days ago, the CB-CID had said that investigations are on to find out why Mr Aggarwal's wife telephoned a cricket bookie, now under arrest, over a 100 times.
The police said that the hotelier, known as Victor in betting circles, used the phone connection in his wife's name to get in touch with the bookies.
Sources in the hotel industry say they do not know much about Mr Aggarwal. "Originally he was in the construction business and then he became a hotelier. He has two hotel properties - the 129-room Fortune Select Palms near here and the 162-room Radisson Blu Hotel City Centre here. He was a new hotelier from nowhere," a hotel industry official said.
For many in the hospitality sector in Chennai, the advent of Mr Aggarwal of VVA Hotels Pvt Ltd happened suddenly.