As the drug probe into Bollywood intensifies, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) chief Rakesh Asthana along with 3-4 officers has travelled from Delhi to Mumbai to review the case, report sources on Sunday. The NCB chief accompanied by Joint Director Sameer Wankhede has spoken with the NCB Mumbai team and is said to be analysing the evidence gathered till date in the case.
Asthana, who took charge in August, was previously the CBI special director and was one of the parties in the late 2018 ‘CBI vs CBI’ case when his senior- then-CBI director Alok Verma and he registered cases against each other. He also serves as the DG of the Border Security Force (BSF). Kshitij to 7-day NCB custody in Bollywood drug case; had claimed ‘am being framed’
NCB chief Rakesh Asthana in Mumbai
As of date, the NCB has only arrested executive producer Kshitij Ravi Prasad in connection to the case, and found small amounts of marijuana at his residence, along with a drug dealer Anuksh Arneja as well as Rakul Preet Singh naming him in their interrogations. He has been remanded to 7-day NCB custody by a Mumbai court. Prasad, who was previously linked to a top Bollywood production house, has ‘not been co-operating’ and giving evasive answers, claim NCB, while he claims they didn’t find anything at his house.
Apart from Prasad, several Bollywood actors – Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh, Sara Ali Khan along with their talent managers -Shruti Modi, Karishma Prakash – and actor/model Simone Khambata have been questioned by the NCB and their phones have been seized and cloned. The agency has been probing the Bollywood drug nexus under two FIRs registered in relation to the Sushant Singh Rajput death case and sources report that they are ‘unhappy’ with some of the actresses’ responses.
Many celebrities have questioned as to why only actresses were being ‘targetted’, even as sources report that names of top Bollywood male actors are also with the agency among dozens mentioned in various capacities by persons interrogated in the probe thus far. Sushant’s family lawyer says ‘no information of CBI’s progress’, slams attempt to distract
The NCB started its investigation by probing the drug angle in the Sushant Singh Rajput death and has arrested 19 people, including actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik – under the NDPS act for procurement and financing of narcotic substances.
These arrests were based on WhatsApp messages between Rhea and other discussing about marijuana and Cannabidiol (CBD), and raids at alleged drug peddlers houses – where small amounts of narcotic substances were seized. While the siblings have moved the High Court for bail, a special court has extended their judicial custody till October 6.
The NCB has been interrogating KWAN talent manager Jaya Saha based on WhatsApp chats with several celebrities allegedly discussing narcotic substances. Based on her revelations it is now probing several top Bollywood actresses. Sources say that top actors may face the NCB heat too.
Ex-CBI Spl Director Rakesh Asthana appointed as DG-BSF, six months after CBI’s clean chit
In the three months since Rajput died, the Mumbai police questioned 56 people till date including several Bollywood celebrities. The Bihar police had lodged an FIR against Rhea Chakraborty and five others booking them for ‘abetment to suicide, cheating, and conspiracy’ – which was transferred to the CBI after the Supreme Court allowed it to take over. ED has booked Rhea and her family for alleged money laundering to the tune of Rs 15 crores, based on Sushant’s family’s complaints, but has not confirmed any irregularities.
Source: Republic World