India news November 5, 2009

Forensic report clears J&K's Rasool

Cricinfo staff
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Indian forensic officials have given a clean chit to Parvez Rasool, the Jammu and Kashmir cricketer, who was detained for questioning before a Champions League Twenty20 match in Bangalore last month after a private security agency claimed to have detected traces of explosive material in his kitbag.

Karnataka-based Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has submitted a report on the matter to the local Bangalore police which said "there were no residues of explosive substances found (in Rasool's bag) which is inclusive of RDX", a commonly used material in terrorist operations.

Cricinfo has obtained a copy of the forensic report, and its contents have been confirmed by a senior local police officer. "We have received the report from FSL and the result is negative (for explosive material)," MR Pujar, additional commissioner of Bangalore police, told Cricinfo. "We are closing the case."

The FSL reports states that tests have revealed traces of DIOP inside and in the plastic pouch of Rasool's bag. "DIOP is a widely used plasticiser, primarily to make soft and flexible PVC for various applications," the report states. The report also suggests that the detection equipment used by the private security agency may have given a faulty reading.

Rasool was delighted to be cleared of the charges. "I always knew that I would get a clean chit," he told Daily News & Analysis. "I have done no wrong. Initially, I was upset but I knew that the truth would come out. You can never bury the truth; and today everyone knows I am clean.

"Today, I have been proven innocent, but I request the police not to let such things happen to anyone else, be it a cricketer or a common man. A small mistake can destroy someone's life.

"I will visit Bangalore again. As I said, I always wanted to visit Bangalore and whatever happened is a thing of the past. The National Cricket Academy is situated in Bangalore and every Indian cricketer wants to play there."

On October 17, the Champions League match between Victoria and Cape Cobras got off to a delayed start after police detained Rasool, an Under-22 cricketer, staying at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) complex in the Chinnaswamy Stadium following an alert from the private agency.

Rasool was subsequently allowed to play in a domestic tournament at the stadium after the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association vouched for the cricketer and doubts were raised by local police about the accuracy of the private agency's findings.

However, the incident had no effect on his game, as he found his redemption in compiling runs. "Since I had done no wrong, I wanted to focus on my cricket," Rasool said. "I even scored a half-century in Bangalore immediately after the incident. In the next match against Mumbai, I scored half centuries in both innings, and also picked up a few wickets."