K’taka CCB arrests 1 person in Bengaluru for drug peddling

Bengaluru, Sep 3 : The Karnataka Central Crime Branch (CCB) has arrested a person for allegedly peddling narcotic drugs in the city, the police said on Thursday.

“We have arrested Ravi Shankar after getting evidence that he was peddling drugs. We have also secured his custody for five days to interrogate him to ascertain to whom all did he supply the banned drugs,” Bengaluru Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil told reporters here.

Shankar is also said to be a friend of Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi, who has been summoned to appear before the CCB sleuths on Friday after she failed to do so on Thursday.

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“We have served Ragini another notice to appear for questioning on Friday at the CCB office after she said that she could not come today (Thursday) as she was unwell and sought time till September 7,” said Patil.

According to sources, Shankar is an official in the state Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Jayanagar in the city’s upscale suburb.

“Shankar is learnt to have attended rave parties with Ragini where drugs like marijuana (ganja), cocaine and hashish were used,” said a source.

City police have began a crack down since Monday after noted Kannada film producer Inderjit Lankesh alleged that about a dozen Sandalwood actors were into drugs and there was a nexus between them and drug mafias.

Ragini, 30, is the first Kannada film actor to be summoned by the CCB after Lankesh on August 29 alleged that actors and musicians were involved in consuming banned drugs during shooting sessions and at rave parties organised by various stakeholders.

Lankesh’s startling revelations about the rampant abuse of banned drugs in the multi-crore film industry came three days after the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) busted a drug trafficking racket in the city and arrested former Kannada television actress D. Anikha and two of her accomplices, R. Ravindran and M. Anoop, on August 26.

The central agency also seized huge cache of drugs from the accused, including 145 ecstasies or MDMA pills and Rs 2.2 lakh in cash from the Royal Suites Hotel Apartment in the city’s northeast suburb on August 21 and more pills in a follow-up raid last week.

The drug racket is suspected to supply recreational and party drugs to Sandalwood actors, children of VIPs, students and others.

“Noted musicians and actors in the Kannada film industry are under the scanner after their links to drugs came to light,” an NCB official had said earlier.

Lankesh came to the CCB office earlier in the day for the second time on summons by Patil, who is investigating the multi-crore drug scam that rocked the Kannada film industry.

“I presented myself before the CCB for the second time on summons. But I cannot divulge the details of what I presented to the officials. Let them (CCB) investigate the charges and truth will come out,” asserted Lankesh.

Lankesh also claimed that he had given material evidence on the alleged drug abuse among the Sandalwood actors.

A miffed Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) on Wednesday denied that some actors had drug links and urged the police to investigate the claims made by Lankesh on the alleged nexus between the industry and the suppliers of banned substances.

“As Lankesh gave names of a dozen Kannada actors to the CCB on August 31 and submitted some documents in support of his claims, we will take action if the police prove that the accused are guilty,” KFCC representative Sa Ra Govindu told reporters here.

Lankesh (43) is the son of noted editor late P. Lankesh, who had launched the popular “Lankesh patrika” (weekly tabloid) in Kannada in the 1980s.

“As I am associated with the film industry as a producer, director and writer, I came to know that some of the parties in the Sandalwood circle are hosted by drug mafias,” Lankesh said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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