Scope of CCB probe into drugs racket may stretch beyond film industry: Bommai

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said the investigation into the drug racket case would get a further boost this week with some good leads, even as former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defended his former Cabinet colleague B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan, against whom allegations of association with drug peddlers are being made.

Indicating that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) probe was likely to be expanded to cover people from other than the film industry, Mr. Bommai said that he was not going to reveal the names of those people under the scanner now as that would likely affect the probe. The government will not spare anyone involved in drugs and will take strict action, he told reporters. “The names of those involved will come out on their own,” he said.

While the various wings of the Police Department are being strengthened to achieve effective cooperation, he said the police in border districts have been asked to increase vigil on inter-State movement of drugs.

Meanwhile, Mr. Siddaramaiah called for a fair investigation in the matter. Speaking to reporters, he said that whether Mr. Zameer Ahmed Khan went to Colombo or with whom he went to Colombo did not establish his involvement. Even those who are speaking about Mr. Khan are not saying that he is involved with the drug mafia, the former Chief Minister said. “This probe is being conducted to shift attention from the government’s failure,” he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that action should be taken against whomever there is evidence against, but it should not be politically motivated.

Another former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, also said that efforts should not be to divert attention, which could affect the probe. Speaking on the references being made to a 2014 trip to Colombo by Janata Dal (Secular) legislators and leaders, he said that the trip was made in public knowledge and Colombo was chosen as the destination to discuss party issues as it was cheaper than destinations such as Goa.

“There is no connection between our trip with the drug scandal. Why should the issue be mixed and attention diverted?” he asked, adding that he would not answer or clarify about allegations. “I do not know why the 2014 Colombo trip has been referred to now.”

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:08:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/scope-of-ccb-probe-into-drugs-racket-may-stretch-beyond-film-industry-bommai/article32595321.ece

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