Arts & Entertainment

Indian authorities investigate Bollywood drug links in major probe

New Delhi, Sep 25 (efe-epa).- A number of celebrities of the Indian film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, are being investigated on allegations of drug consumption by law enforcement agencies, as part of an unexpected turn in the probe over the alleged suicide of famous actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

On Friday, actor Rakul Preet Singh met officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai, arriving amid live coverage by various news broadcasters, while Bollywood A-lister Deepika Padukone has also been summoned for questioning.

Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor are two other actors who have been asked to join investigations by the agency as part of a probe into the use of drugs in the film industry, which has increasingly widened its net and led to various arrests.

Actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying drugs for Rajput, her boyfriend, who died in June in what has been termed a suicide by the police.

The media frenzy surrounding the case has overshadowed the coronavirus in the world’s second-worst affected country by the pandemic, and grabbed headlines both in print and television media.

Earlier this week, Indian media houses leaked purported Whatsapp conversations from 2017 involving the purchase of hashish and marijuana, allegedly between Padukone and her manager.

“#BollywoodDrugLink – Drug probe explodes: Time to clean up B’wood,” declared broadcaster News 18, an example of how the local media has been covering the issue.

In her latest bail plea, Chakraborty has alleged that she has become the victim of a “media witch-hunt”

“No drug or psychotropic substance have ever been seized from the accused,” the actor’s defense lawyers said in a petition to the Bombay High Court on Thursday.

The “drug stash” seized by the authorities in the case consists of just 59 grams of marijuana found on two traffickers, who allegedly supplied drugs to Rajput at the behest of Chakraborty and her brother, according to the official version of events.

The NCB has alleged that Chakraborty knew of “every delivery (of drugs)” to Rajput and their payments, which proves that she was part of a trafficking group.

The investigation against Chakraborty, and subsequently other Bollywood stars, was launched after the death of Rajput, known for hits such as Chhichhore (2019).

Rajput’s father had alleged in July that Chakraborty and her family had driven his son to suicide and stolen hundreds of dollars from him. The NCB has been investigation Chakraborty on abetment to suicide and drug trafficking charges. EFE-EPA


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