This week, a Karachi (Pakistan) bureau report from a reputed Indian news agency, claimed that Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra was interrogated by the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for having links with Pakistani bowler Mohammad Asif, who is at the centre of a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal that has rocked world cricket.
At a Press Conference held in Mumbai today, Neetu Chandra’s publicist Dale Bhagwagar has denied she was interrogated and reiterated that the actress has nothing to do with either Mohammad Asif or match fixing. “The reports about Neetu being interrogated by Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of ICC are incorrect and baseless,” said Bhagwagar.
“Neither does Neetu know Mohammad Asif, nor has she been to Indian Premier League (IPL) parties or events, as reported. Her name is unnecessarily being dragged in the match-fixing debate with unfounded allegations,” said the celebrity publicist.
The controversy began with a section of the media discussing a “leaked” document, which it claimed, was prepared by the Interpol and Scotland Yard for the Pakistan Cricket Board. Apparently, this document contains various phone numbers of people who interacted with Mohammad Asif in 2009.
The media reports stated that in this document, the only mobile number from Mumbai, belonged to actress Neetu Chandra, and insinuated that she could be involved in the infamous match-fixing scandal. It further claimed that according to the document, the actress had made two phone calls and exchanged SMS’s with the controversial cricketer, discussing sensitive cricket issues and deals.
“Neetu is flummoxed about how her cell number has featured on such a scandalous list. She believes, this could be a conspiracy,” added the PR specialist.
When asked about the cricketer’s ex-girlfriend Veena Malik dragging Neetu’s name in the match-fixing controversy through her interviews, claiming that “a Bollywood actress used to call Asif,” Bhagwagar said, “Without any concrete evidence, Ms Malik is going on and on, talking about how she thinks Neetu Chandra is involved with Mohammad Asif. She is probably doing this for publicity, as we’ve heard that she herself has Bollywood dreams. If that is the case, then this is a cheap way to bag mileage, as in the process, Ms Malik is maligning the name and reputation of an established and critically acclaimed actress.”