Punjab police begins probe into IPL racism row

May 31st, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by admin  

Mohali (Punjab), May 31 (IANS) The Punjab police have started a probe into the charges levelled by two British black cheerleaders that they were prevented from performing at an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here last month owing to the colour of their skin. The police have begun its investigations on the basis of an e-mail complaint of the manager of the two cheerleaders, Jorge Aldana. Officials of Wizcraft, the firm that hired the cheerleaders, were questioned by the police.

The manager, in his complaint, a copy of which was also sent to the British High Commission in New Delhi this week, alleged that cheerleaders Ellesha Newton and Sherinne Anderson of Fierce Performance Productions of London had been discriminated against on the basis of the colour of their skin.

Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Ranbir Singh Khatra, who was recently involved in a verbal spat with Mohali Kings XI team owner and industrialist Ness Wadia, said that the probe into the racism charge was on.

“There seems to be some substance in the allegations,” Khatra said Saturday.

The complaint said that both girls were asked to leave the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here April 19 by officials of Wizcraft event management company saying that the IPL franchise owners did not want dark skinned cheerleaders to perform.

Aldana, in his complaint, said that the girls were allowed to perform only after he intervened with Wizcraft officials.

While Wizcraft has denied the racism charges and even questioned why the cheerleaders chose to rake up the issue after almost one month, the Mohali police have asked the complainants to provide more details and identity of officials who are being accused of racist behaviour.

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