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Zinta-Wadia case: Cricket legend's son could be a key witness

Cops from Marine Drive police station say that the statement from the retired legend’s son could be crucial. They are planning to approach his guardians for permission

A day after Preity Zinta shared the names of 14 eyewitnesses who were present at Wankhede stadium on May 30 when the actress was allegedly abused by her former boyfriend and industrialist Ness Wadia, investigators have begun contacting them.

Preity Zinta, along with police officers, had visited the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Preity Zinta, along with police officers, had visited the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Sources in the police department revealed that one of the witnesses is the son of a retired legendary cricketer. “The cricketer’s son can be a substantial witness to the case. We will approach his guardians for permission,” said an officer from Marine Drive police station.

He added that the American who was sitting in Garware Pavilion, and who allegedly stopped the industrialist from abusing Preity, could also be an important witness. Businessman Danish Merchant, who was seated next to the actress, has already given his statement.

According to police, Preity had initially approached the officials of BCCI and IPL after the argument, but was told to avoid getting the league into a controversy, since it was still reeling from last year’s betting scandal from last year.

The actress was incensed and, according to her statement, decided to lodge a complaint on June 13, two weeks after getting no reaction from cricket officials.

After carrying out a spot panchnama with the actress, the police will now check the CCTV footage of the day of the incident, from 230 cameras inside the stadium and 19 cameras used by Sony Channel.

When the Crime Branch asked Preity if she knew gangster Ravi Pujari, who had allegedly called the Wadia office in Parel and threatened them to stay away from the actress or face business losses, she told them that she only knew cricketers Ravi Shastri and Cheteshwar Pujara.

According to police, prima facie evidence suggests that the argument probably started over seats. The team of Kings IX Punjab was given 50 general seats and 35 seats in the air-conditioned Garware Pavilion.

On the day of the incident, Ness, who was also celebrating his birthday on May 30, was left with no seats, which led to an argument. Sources claim that further action will be taken after gathering more evidence and talking to witnesses.

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