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Amid Mahadev app row, Bhupesh Baghel urges PM Modi to put ‘complete ban’ on illegal business of online betting

Bhupesh Baghel wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to impose a complete ban on the illegal business of online betting and claimed the the owners of such platforms run the business from abroad.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Raipur Updated on: December 02, 2023 13:07 IST
Bhupesh Baghel, betting apps, Online betting apps, gambling, PM Narendra Modi, Chhattisgarh
Image Source : PTI Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel

Bahgel writes to PM Modi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government to impose a complete ban on the platforms and apps related to gambling, and illegal business of online betting. Baghel claimed that the owners of such platforms run the said illegal business from foreign countries. In a letter to PM Modi, the Chief Minister detailed the actions taken by the state police against the issue and said that over 450 persons have been arrested in connection with the matter.

“You will be fully aware of the fact that in the past, illegal gambling and betting business has expanded nationwide through online betting and gaming and its operators and owners have been running the said illegal business from foreign countries,” Baghel wrote in the letter to the Prime Minister dated December 1.

“Chhattisgarh government and the state police have been taking strict action since the beginning in relation to this illegal business. Success has been achieved in registering various crimes in this regard, arresting the accused involved and confiscating assets,” he added.

He said that since March 2022, the Chhattisgarh Police has registered more than 90 criminal cases in this regard, in which more than 450 accused have been arrested, Rs 46 crore in bank accounts have been frozen, many laptops, mobile phones have been seized.

Baghel cites Mahadev App

Citing the Mahadev App, which made headlines in the run-up to the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls last month, he said that the app was removed from Play Store and suggested to verify the international and domestic mobile numbers and other platforms used in the betting business.

“80 online gaming platforms/URLs by Chhattisgarh Police. /link,/apk Correspondence has also been sent to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India to suspend it. Through correspondence with Google, 'Mahadev App' involved in this illegal business has been removed from the Play Store,” he wrote.

Baghel flagged the criminal activities of people running online betting and gambling business and said that they have expanded to the international level.

“They are committing their crimes by using modern information technology techniques and platforms,” he wrote.

Baghel suggests steps

The Chief Minister suggested to take preventive measures at every level to put a stop to the illegal betting business.

“From the investigations conducted so far, the entire functioning of these illegal businessmen has come to the notice of the investigating agencies, hence there is a strong need to take preventive measures at every level to stop their business, under this, the illegal operation of bank accounts used by the accused should be stopped. Steps should be taken to stop it immediately, which can be done at the central level,” he wrote.

“It has become inevitable that the Central Government should take appropriate action in this direction using its powers and impose a complete ban on them so that crores of people of the country can be saved from getting trapped in the clutches of this illegal business,” he added.

Mahadev app row

The Enforcement Directorate last month claimed a cash courier, arrested with over Rs 5 crore in cash, has told the probe agency that the online Mahadev betting app promoters paid Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Rs 508 crores.

The issue was a hot topic during the Assembly elections in the state. Baghel denied the allegations, and claimed that those were politically motivated.

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