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Akun cancels leave after “political storm”; More likely to be called for quizzing

Director of Excise Enforcement Directorate Akun Sabharwal, who was supposed to have gone on leave from Saturday, in an unexpected turn of events, cancelled his leave.

It may be mentioned here that Akun Sabharwal’s official leave was sanctioned till July 25 from today. He had even announced about his proceeding on leave despite the fact that investigations by SIT in the drug racket had reached a crucial stage what with the involvement of Tollywood artistes coming to light. The SIT had even issued notices to as many as 12 film artistes, including a prominent Director, actors, actresses and technicians to appear in person at its office for recording their statements in connection with their alleged involvement in the drug racket. This had undoubtedly created tremors in the Telugu film industry.

However, what has come as a surprise was the announcement of Akun Sabharwal going on leave from today for “personal reasons”. However, this did not hold water with the citizens and even political circles. Speculations began to float as to what prompted an upright officer to suddenly go on leave, that too when the investigations into the drug racket had reached a crucial stage. What is more, this has even triggered off a political storm with the Congress and TDP leaders suspecting that Akun Sabharwal was forced to go on leave due to political compulsions and pressure. Thus, with his going on leave assuming political overtones and creating doubts in the minds of the public, Akun Sabharwal in a sudden twist in the drug drama, cancelled going on leave!

Meanwhile, the SIT has taken Calvin Mascarenhas, the kingpin of the drug mafia, into its custody for two days from Charlapally Jail. In fact, based on the call data on Calvin’s mobile, the SIT stumbled upon the alleged involvement of film industry personalities leading to issuing notices to 12 artistes. Along with Calvin, two others arrested were also taken into custody for interrogation.

The SIT seemed to be determined to gather more information from Calvin and his two associates by interrogating them during the next two days and based on the new evidence it was planning to issue notices to some more film artistes. This has created fresh fear in the Tollywood, especially after Akun Sabharwal cancelled his leave and would be at the helm of investigations.

A second list of film personalities seemed to have already been prepared by SIT. After gathering more information from Calvin and with credible evidence, fresh notices are likely to be issued to some more artistes. SIT officials made it clear that all the 12 artistes, who were served notices till now, should appear in person and failing to do so would entail severe punishment. It is learnt if proved that anyone among those served notices were using drugs would be sentenced to a minimum six months imprisonment. (NSS)