Sandalwood actor Ragini Dwivedi has been arrested and taken into custody by the CCB police in Bengaluru on Friday, in connection with the drug racket case. Another accused, Viren Khanna, who is known to organise big parties, too has been arrested in Delhi and taken into police custody for four days by the CCB.
Dwivedi’s residence in Yelahanka was raided by the CCB on Friday morning, after which she was taken to the CCB office for questioning. She was arrested after six hours of interrogation.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, in a press meet, said the CCB arrested two persons, identified as Ravi and Rahul, and was interrogating them.
The commissioner stated that the CCB, for the last one month, had been tracking a person named Ravi, a senior division assistant with the Jayanagar regional transport office, following a tip-off that he attended parties along with a Sandalwood actor and he was found supplying drugs in these parties.
Earlier, when asked about the raids at the residence of Dwivedi house, the top cop said, “We had got information about an actor having links to a drug peddler. We are now interrogating Dwivedi. This is the case status as of now. The investigating officers will summon more people as per the legal planning. This is the beginning of the probe and we can reveal only this much at this juncture.”
Pant chose not to elaborate on the drug case and even stated that the CCB was working on fresh leads for some time, and the information given by Kannada film producer Indrajit Lankesh were about old incidents.
Although the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) busted the international drug racket recently and made several arrests in Bengaluru while confiscating huge stocks of MDMA and LSD pills, the commissioner chose not to speak on the larger drug network and its link to the state.
The NCB officials, on September 3, arrested F. Ahmed who works in Goa, for receiving the drugs. The role of some prominent drug suppliers based in Bangalore is also under scanner.
On August 21, based on specific inputs, the Bengaluru zonal unit of NCB seized 145 MDMA pills (60 gm), commonly known as ecstasy, and Rs 2,20,500 from Royal Suites Hotel Apartment in Kalyan Nagar in the city.
The team also seized 96 pills (40 gm) of MDMA and 180 LSD blots from Nikoo Homes in Bengaluru. A drug supplier, D. Anikha, was arrested and 270 MDMA pills recovered from her house in Doddagubbi. Her accomplices—M. Anoop and R. Ravindran—were also arrested. Preliminary investigation revealed that the accused used to supply drugs to prominent musicians and actors in Sandalwood, children of VIPs, and college students.
Sa Ra Govind, former president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, who has been claiming that the Kannada film industry has no links with the drug racket, expressed shock over Dwivedi’s arrest.