Sandalwood in the grip of drugs, claims filmmaker-journalist Indrajit Lankesh

PTI, Aug 30, 2020, 8:20 AM IST

Bengaluru: Filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh on Saturday, August 29 sparked a row by claiming that a few film actors whom he knew were severely addicted to drugs.

His claim came close on the heels of the Narcotics Control Bureau of India busting a major drug racket with a drug haul from the City with the arrest of three people, M Anoop, R Ravindran, and Anikha D.

The NCB said the trio was supplying drugs to musicians and actors in the Kannada film industry, popularly known as Sandalwood.

“The drug network in sandalwood is far and wide, Many young actors and actresses organize rave parties. I have heard many stories and also, I know many such incidents,” Lankesh told reporters on Saturday.

Lankesh even claimed that a film actor high on drugs met with an accident a few months ago in a swanky car.

He added that if the police promise him protection, he would lay bare many such facts.

His claim was quickly rebutted by many in the Kannada film industry saying that there had been liquor parties but they have never come across rave parties.

However, following the claim, police issued a statement that they would summon Lankesh to share information.

A police statement said the Bengaluru Police have been raiding a lot of drug peddlers and even detected drugs supplied through ”Dark Net.”

“Regarding statements of Indajit Lankesh on media channels, CCB Anti Narcotics Wing is issuing notice to him to come and share information and support Bengaluru Police in this fight against drugs. We will investigate every information that he will share,” the statement said.

Lankesh found a supporter in Excise Minister H Nagesh who said the drug racket in Bengaluru is very large.

“Bengaluru drug racket is very large and what was unearthed recently is just a sample,” Nagesh said in Belagavi.

The minister said that the drug menace has to be controlled, otherwise innocent students and children will fall prey to it.

Reacting to Lankesh’s claim, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said the sale and consumption of marijuana is a great crime.

“If marijuana is sold in the state, it is because of government failure. Those who sell and consume marijuana must be tracked and punished,” the veteran Congress leader said.

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