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Kalmadi grilled for over eight hours

January 05, 2011 19:25 IST

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, who was chairman of the Commonwealth Organizing Committee, was grilled for over eight-and-a-half hours by sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of the sports extravaganza in Delhi last year.

Kalmadi reached the CBI headquarters in Lodhi Estate at 10 in the morning and was there till 7 pm replying to questions from three top officials of the agency's anti-corruption unit.

- Commonwealth Games 2010

The investigating agency had prepared for him a comprehensive questionnaire on the alleged irregularities in the Queen's Baton's Relay, that was held in London, and certain contracts, amounting to several hundred crores, awarded to various firms, including payment of 200,000 pounds paid to London-based firm AM Films without a written contract.

Kalmadi was also asked about a letter that was found when the agency raided his residences in Delhi and Pune on December 24. The letter was written by someone who demanded Rs 4.5 crore else he would reveal his misdeeds. The agency also found a broken CD, allegedly sent by the blackmailer, at one of his residences.

Sources in the IOA told that Kalmadi was visibly shaken after the raids on his residence.

"He acted like a dictator and did not listen to sane advice given to him even by his closest friends. He listened to only one person and that was Lalit Bhanot, organizing secretary of the CWG. Bhanot had told CBI that he signed the orders at the behest of Suresh Kalmadi," a senior IOA official said in an informal conversation.

Onkar Singh New Delhi