Telugu film industry caught in ‘drug net’

Akun Sabharwal  

Charges of narcotic drugs usage continued to shake Telugu film industry for the third consecutive day on Friday with seven persons acknowledging notices from the investigators.

Even as regional TV channels repeatedly telecast visuals of some Telugu film industry persons linking them to drug racket, some of them vehemently denied the allegations. Declining to divulge names of persons who were served notices, Prohibition and Excise (P&E) Director Akun Sabharwal said five more persons connected to Telugu films have to accept the notices.

“Seven of them acknowledged the notices. In one case, father of a person in question refused to receive it. In another case, there was difficulty in locating a woman's address,” he said. All were likely to confirm receipt of notices by Saturday.

Serving notices didn't mean all of them were at fault. They can appear before the Special Investigation Team and explain their version, he clarified.

The level of involvement of the 12 Telugu film industry persons varied from case to case.

A person arrested in the drug racket told the interrogators that driver of an actor used to collect the drug. In another case, the accused maintained that he simply delivered 'medicine' at the assigned address. Meanwhile, the P&E sleuths caught an event manager Piyoosh on Friday and recovered some drugs from him. He too claimed to have secured drugs by placing order online. “He was the key person accused of supplying drugs to schoolchildren and college students,” an investigator said.

Even Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths examined him after learning that he had claimed to have the expertise to transform crystalline Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) into liquid form. “NCB officials remarked that a person having that expertise meant a serious threat,” an investigator said.

Mr. Sabharwal laughed off the reports that he was going on leave from Sunday due to 'pressure from or interference by top people' in the ongoing probe in drug racket. “This is purely my personal trip which was decided long back. I am a certified mountaineer and going to Himalayas for trekking,” he said smiling.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 11:22:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tollywood-caught-in-drug-net/article19281793.ece

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