South Asia

Shoe hurled at Commonwealth Games chief Suresh Kalmadi

An unidentified man has thrown a shoe at Suresh Kalmadi, the disgraced former chief of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in the Indian capital, Delhi.

Mr Kalmadi was being taken to court in the city when the would-be assailant struck. The shoe missed its target.

Mr Kalmadi was arrested on Monday, accused of conspiracy regarding the awarding of commercial contracts for the Games. He denies any wrongdoing.

The build-up to the Games was marred by allegations of sleaze and incompetence.

Throwing a shoe at someone is considered a grave insult in India.

Television pictures showed a man running towards Mr Kalmadi - who was removed from his post in January - as he walked to the court surrounded by policemen.

The man jumped in the air and threw a slipper at the Games chief, but missed. He was then detained by police.

Inside the court, Mr Kalmadi was remanded in custody for eight days while the authorities investigate the charges against him.

His lawyer told the court his arrest was "illegal".

Mr Kalmadi's office in the western city of Pune was ransacked overnight by protesters.

A spokesman for India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Monday that Mr Kalmadi had been arrested "for conspiracy to cause favour to a company in Switzerland while procuring timers and scoring equipment for the Games", which were held last October.

Other charges relate to contracts at a 2009 event in London which marked the start of a baton race across Commonwealth countries, say reports.

If found guilty Mr Kalmadi could face years in prison. He is the third Commonwealth Games official to be detained in India accused of corruption.

The row over the Games is one of a series of corruption scandals that has rocked India in recent months.

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