Indian police left red-faced after local newspaper highlights inactivity in pursuing illegal sports bettors

  • Newspaper advert thanks police for turning a blind eye to IPL betting
  • Editorial stunt goes wrong, leading to removal of executive editor

Indian police in the state of Madhya Pradesh have been left red-faced by a public thank you for their failure to enforce anti-betting laws.

IPL betting India police red-faced

Betting on sport is illegal in India but the Indian Premier League, which is currently ongoing, is the source of a flurry of gambling every spring.

However, to date both local and national police forces have struggled to contain betting activity on the competition.

Earlier this week an advertisement in a local Madhya Pradesh newspaper thanked local police for their lack of action on illegal betting and their failure to arrest or prosecute either bettors or bookmakers involved in IPL betting.

The advertisement was apparently placed by a group known as the Ujjain Betting Association. It included pictures of key local law enforcement officials, including the local director general and the head of the police, and thanked them for not interrupting betting activity in Ujjain, in contrast to the attempts of other police forces to crack down on IPL betting.

Newspaper pulled an editorial stunt

In fact, the advertisement turned out to be an unorthodox editorial stunt from the newspaper’s executive editor, which was intended to highlight concern about the low level of anti-betting action in Ujjain. In response, the newspaper’s main editor has removed his executive editor and has pledged to publish a public apology to the local police.

However, the promise of an apology may not be sufficient to deter the embarrassed local police force from taking further action. Although neither the chief editor nor the executive editor have been arrested, a first information report (FIR) has been issued against the editorial staff of the newspaper, laying accusations of defamation and forgery with the purpose of causing damage to the reputation of an individual.

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