Delhi Capitals players' bats and other equipment found in Bengaluru, two arrested

The incident was reported by the franchise last week as the items were stolen when they travelled from Bengaluru to Delhi.

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Delhi Capitals logo
Delhi Capitals logo. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Two people have been detained for stealing bats, pads, gloves, and helmets of the players of the Delhi Capitals franchise of the Indian Premier League, on April 15 when the kits were being transported to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) from ITC Gardenia. Notably, the franchise had lodged a complaint regarding the same.

As per the report, 16 bats, pads, shoes, thigh pads, and gloves were among the stolen items. The bats belonged to David Warner, the captain of Delhi, ace all-rounder Mitchell March, Phil Salt of England, and India's U19 star Yash Dhull, and all the equipment were said to be worth lakhs.

The people detained are Sudanshu Nayak, 30, of Sampangiramanagar, an Odia native, and Cheluvaraj alias Nataraj, 30, of Rajarajeshwari Layout, a neighborhood close to Challaghatta. Sudanshu works as a courier boy, while Cheluvaraj is the driver of a small cargo vehicle.  To apprehend the criminals, Srinivas R. Gowda, deputy commissioner of police (Central), assembled a team under the command of police sub-inspector Bheemsen Ghatage.

Ananda Agarwala, 72, the manager of Xpress Freight Solutions Private Limited from Mumbai City, is believed to have reported the incident to the police around 8:40 am on Friday. The police reportedly apprehended the pair within 24 hours of the filing of the report and obtained the stolen belongings from their homes.

The theft took place when the cricket equipment was being transferred to the KIA that evening, according to Agarwala. His company had been hired by Arvind Negi, the head of DC logistics, to deliver the team's luggage from the ITC Gardenia hotel to KIA. They were instructed to transport the belongings, through the Indigo flight, to the EFS facility in Delhi.

Agarwala gave the task to his management colleague Dinesh in Bengaluru. Around 10 PM, Dinesh and his friend Sudhanshu travelled in two small goods transport vans to the hotel and the Chinnaswamy stadium. They put 25 suitcases in the vehicle Abhishek was driving and 39 bags in Cheluvaraju's vehicle.

As per a senior official, the theft was discovered when the Delhi Capitals players brought their kits to a practice session in Delhi on April 16. Around 17 bats, three thigh pads, seven gloves, two helmets, three batting pads, three pairs of shoes, and two pairs of goggles were missing, according to a message Negi wrote to Agarwala.

“Dinesh and other staff went to Cubbon Park police to lodge a complaint on April 17, but they were asked to file a complaint with Delhi police as the baggage had already reached Delhi. I had to come down to Bengaluru from Mumbai and approach the senior officials, but FIR was not registered. Finally, I approached CH Pratap Reddy, commissioner of police, and explained to him that the theft had taken place in Bengaluru. Reddy instructed the Cubbon Park police to register the FIR,” Agarwala told Deccan Herald.

The Cubbon Park police, however, have a different tale to narrate. They assert that Agarwala and Negi went to the Delhi police first to lodge a complaint. They declined to file the complaint, therefore Agarwala came to them on April 21 to file a complaint.

Sudanshu and Cheluvaraj were apprehended by police who were looking into the case. Sudanshu acknowledged stealing a bat out of one of the kits. Cheluvarju admitted to stealing 18 balls, a centre guard, a bag, four pairs of hand gloves, two helmets, three pairs of leg pads, two thigh pads, and 11 bats. The retrieved items are estimated to be worth a total of Rs 16 lakh. They both insisted that they had only taken the goods for their own use and had no intention of selling them.

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