Diwali gambling: Hyderabad police arrest bizman on Thursday night, let off four TRS MLAs

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A huge contingent of the Hyderabad Task Force and the Begumpet police raided a Diwali after-party and arrested a businessman, Aravind Agarwal, 55, and booked him for organising a gambling party for several VIPs, reported the Deccan Chronicle. The city police seized Rs 12 lakh cash during the raids. Only a few days back, the Cyberabad police had raided a farmhouse on Hyderabad outskirts belonging to a Tollywood hero and booked 30 people including a former Telugu Desam MLA for gambling.

According to the Deccan Chronicle, those apprehended on the Diwali night include four MLAs of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Aravind Agarwal, along with the MLAs, were booked for allegedly playing poker and playing loud music.

The MLAs were let off and the case was watered down after a senior minister from the city intervened, reported the news daily. The other news dailies including the Times of India, the New Indian Express reported the presence of one TRS MLA. The police have denied the presence of any legislator.

The accused were reportedly booked under Section 9 of the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974 which carries imprisonment for a term that may extend to six months or with a fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both.

Deccan Chronicle reported that the inspector Srinivas Rao initially shared an FIR (No 404 / 2021) copy but snatched the copy back from the reporter, claiming that he was under instructions from a senior officer not to share any details about the case with the media.

The FIR copy is a public document and has to be uploaded on to the police portal within hours after an FIR is registered. However, the police, in this case, have delayed uploading the FIR copy online,” reported Deccan Chronicle. The FIR copy at the time of publishing this is not available online.

The men were reportedly let off soon after the arrest and were asked to appear for investigation in the next few days. The offences are non-bailable requiring the police to produce the accused before the court. However, the police have granted a station bail to the accused.