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Popular Kannada actress arrested as probe into drug racket gets murkier

Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi at the Central Crime Branch office for question in connection with the sandalwood drug scandal (PTI)Premium
Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi at the Central Crime Branch office for question in connection with the sandalwood drug scandal (PTI)

  • The ongoing crackdown on drugs, according to police officials, runs deep with several prominent sections of people involved in procuring and consumption of these banned substances
  • The Bengaluru city police have been cracking down on drugs and have unearthed large hauls of marajuana and other narcotics

BENGALURU : The Bengaluru city police on Friday said that it had arrested Ragini Dwivedi, a popular Kannada actress in connection with an ongoing crackdown on drugs and banned substances in India’s technology capital and the state’s film industry, referred to as Sandalwood.

The actress’s home in Bengaluru was first searched by Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials and she was later brought to the station for questioning.

The Bengaluru city police have been cracking down on drugs and have unearthed large hauls of marajuana and other narcotics over the last month.

The police on Thursday arrested Ravi, a regional transport official, who is reported to have close links with filmstars and used to be part of Bengaluru’s high-end party circles.

“Based on the revelations made by him, we have started our second layer of investigation," Kamal Pant, Bengaluru city police commissioner said on Friday.

The police have also arrested at least two more people in connection with the case.

The ongoing crackdown on drugs, according to police officials, runs deep with several prominent sections of people involved in procuring and consumption of these banned substances.

Pant said that the police have also secured more details about a foreign national who was the alleged supplier of these drugs. Party-planners, people with connections to the film industry and other people are currently under the scanner, Pant said.

Filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh has stated that he was aware of at least 15 people from the movie industry who were involved in the drug racket.

Former Karnataka chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy has even accused that the money collected from this ‘drug mafia’ that includes cricket betting, illegal dance bars and contraband dealers among others was used to topple the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state. The allegations sparked a war of words between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Kumaraswamy.

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