Amid floating media reports that a member of the Indian cricket contingent has been arrested on charges of rape in Harare, Zimbabwe, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs refuted the claims and said that the Indian national who was arrested is no way associated with the Indian cricket team, reported CNN-News 18.
According to the ANI, the person arrested is an Indian affiliate with one of the sponsors of the matches, has been arrested on allegations of raping a local woman. The agency also reported that the accused has claimed to be innocent and has agreed to cooperate with the probe and undergo DNA tests.
Official sources in India stated that the person arrested was in fact affiliated to one of the sponsors of the ongoing limited-overs series.
“Regarding media reports of an Indian cricketer being involved in an alleged case of rape in Harare, we have spoken to our Ambassador to Zimbabwe. The report is totally false. No Indian cricketer is involved,” the sources said.
The BCCI, on its part, refused to comment, claiming that it is yet to ascertain the exact facts of the issue. “We are keeping a close watch on the development. It is a serious issue. Being aware of the sensitive nature of the issue, the BCCI won’t make comments without ascertaining facts,” said a top Board official on condition of anonymity.
Earlier on Saturday, media reports emerged that an Indian cricketer was arrested on rape charges in Harare. A Zimbabwe news portal, New Zimbabwe quoted police spokesperson assistant commissioner Charity Charamba as saying “There are allegations of rape against an Indian national by a Zimbabwe woman.”
The Zimbabwe news agency also reported the presence of Indian ambassador at The Meikles Hotel, where the Indian cricket team is currently staying, to thwart the “un-named player’s arrest”. The reporter further said that attempts were made to broker an out of court settlement with the woman.
The reports were picked up by Pakistan media as well. The reports also stated that India’s ambassador to the African nation, R Masakui, had tried to prevent the player’s arrest last night at a Harare hotel.
Further details on the case are awaited.
The Indian team is currently on a tour to Zimbabwe for the T-20 series. The Indian team had won ODI matches 3-0 against the hosts, however, it has lost the first of T-20 matches by two runs to the host in the ongoing series.