Udayavni Special

CCB looking into film industry links to drugs: Home Minister


Team Udayavani, Aug 30, 2020, 7:10 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Central Crime Branch police here has been asked to look into alleged film industry links to drugs and the government was extending full cooperation to the Narcotics Control Bureau which recently busted a trafficking racket here, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday.

Bommai also said Kannada filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh has been asked to share information he has about his claim on Saturday that some actors were into drugs.

“The NCB has arrested some people, including a woman, involved in synthetic drugs, and started investigations into the suspected involvement of some high profile personalities and film industry people. The state government was extending full cooperation to them,” he told reporters in Hubballi.

The NCB had on August 26 said some “prominent musicians and actors” in Karnataka are under its scanner after the drug trafficking racket was busted by the federal agency recently. The agency said it seized a large quantity of drugs, including 145 ecstasy or MDMA from an apartment here on August 21 and more pills and 180 LSD blots in follow up action. Three persons have been apprehended.

Bommai said the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police have also conducted several raids, and added that he has directed them to look into the alleged involvement of those from the film industry in drugs. “Indrajit Lankesh has made some statement in this regard.

We have served him notice and called him to share the information that he has, based on which necessary action will be taken,” he added. Lankesh had on Saturday claimed that a few film actors whom he knew were into drugs. “The drug network in sandalwood (Kannada film industry) is far and wide, Many young actors and actresses organise rave parties. I have heard many stories and also, I know many such incidents,” he had told reporters.

The Home Minister said whether it was the film industry or any other field, authorities were alert to both drug suppliers and consumers and would get to the root of the menace and stamp it out. “We have declared a war on drugs and it will continue.. I have asked CCB to look into film industry connections, if any, and they will work in this regard to find out the source of drug supply in the state. We are gathering information about supplies from domestic and international level as well,” he said.

He noted that the darknet was being used by those in the trade and consumers and it was difficult to get information from this medium on where and in what quantity supply takes place. He however, claimed officials have been able to get a breakthrough.

“Dark net also has other illegal actvities like child pronography, prostitution, international arms and related transaction,” he said. Karnataka DG and IGP Praveen Sood, speaking to reporters here, noted that the raids have been conducted by the NCB and investigation was going on.

The state police have conducted operations and have seized huge quantities of ganja, worth crores of Rupees, he said. “We will take stringent action against drug dealers and consumers.

Whether it is in schools and colleges or the general public or Sandalwood (Kannada film industry) no one should become victims or addicts to it,” he added. On complaints that state police was only concentrating on ganja, the DGP said it comes to the notice of people because the seizures were in kilograms or quintals.

Other drugs like heroin or morphine are sold in grams or milligrams and so the quantity seized would be less, he said, adding several seizures of these drugs have also been made. Meanwhile, senior Kannada actor Shiva Rajkumar said the truth about the alleged involvement of those from the film industry in drugs needs to come out.

“…truth has to come out…I’m not blaming anybody. So far I have not seen it (drugs) in our industry. But when things have come out, we cannot say outright that it is false unless we know about it. “When I saw it in the media reports, I got to know about the extent,” he said.

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