The London-based former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, who left India after he was accused of financial irregularities in the conduct of the T20 league, has said that he isn't a "fugitive who is willfully evading the Indian authorities".
In statement released on his website, reportedly based on several RTI replies, he said, "My absence from India is for genuine reasons. The ED and the Indian Passport office has completely under-estimated the level of the security threat against me."
Modi goes on to add that during his time as the IPL chief, he was informed by Joint Commissioner of the Mumbai Police Rakesh Maria and Additional Commissioner Devan Bharti about threats to his life.
"In April 2009, the Mumbai Police initially informed me that my life was in danger. I was in South Africa organizing the second season of the IPL and was called by Mr. Devan Bharti, an Additional Commissioner of the Mumbai Police, who told me they had received credible information that there was a plot by the underworld to have me assassinated. He said the reason was my stand against illegal gambling in cricket matches.."
Speaking to The Indian Express Bharti said, "The ED has written a letter to the Crime Branch making inquires about the security threat. We had replied to them on the basis of the information that we had with us. However, I cannot disclose what we wrote to the ED ."
Modi also mentions an assassination attempt on him in the statement. "In 23rd February 2010 I was asked to visit the Mumbai police where Mr. Rakesh Maria, Joint Commissioner of the Mumbai Police, informed me they had intercepted communications indicating a fresh plan to assassinate me. It later transpired that there had actually been an attempt on my life while I was in Thailand in January 2010, but which was thwarted by a last minute decision to depart a day earlier than scheduled. Thereafter the Mumbai Police provided me with round the clock security."
Modi hints that the sudden lifting of security cover saw him leave India. "There has been no explanation of