New Delhi: What! The Delhi police are conducting a press conference at India Habitat Centre? That was the question on the mind of around 100 odd reporters who attended the press conference at the Centre- known for holding cultural events.
The media interaction followed the arrest of three players of Rajasthan Royals team over spot fixing allegations in IPL. "Maybe IPL organisers have sponsored it," joked one of the scribes. "Arrey, they will show clippings of the match and play the audio clipping of conversations between bookies and players," said another.
Inside the auditorium, was an ensemble of crime reporters and sports journalists. And an extraordinary number of mallu reporters, as journalists in Delhi describe their counterparts from South India. "They are here because of Sreesanth. I am serious. You can quote me on this," said one of them.
While waiting for press conference to begin, to get "off the record news", journalists swarmed Sanjay Srivastava, special police commissioner, special cell, Delhi police.
Beaming with confidence, Srivastava narrated to them, valiant tales of his team - how it went about arresting the players and bookies. And what will happen after these arrests.
"There will be no match fixing now," said Srivastava. "Like, no fixing at all? How can you say that?"wondered a reporter. "I mean, at least Rajasthan Royals will not repeat it," stressed the cop. "But Sir, did Harbhajan call you? We have been told that he was the happiest person to know about this controversy," joked a TV journalist.
Delhi police chief did not look like a man who, a fortnight ago, had a tough job explaining why he would continue to be the city's top cop in the wake of unabated crime against women. He was in complete command. A sense of accomplishment dictated his body language as he told the media how Delhi police cracked the spot fixing scandal.
He was even witty.
Not many in the audience could ignore the female journalist who, twice, asked if Australian players were under the scanner. "Your countrymen may rest in peace. I can tell you that no player from your country is on our radar," Neeraj Kumar told the Australian journalist.
But the question which summed up the event came at last. "Mr Kumar, would you say that this is the defining moment of your commissionership?"asked a crime reporter.
Kumar, who is due to retire as Delhi police chief in two months, responded only with a brief grin.