Sandalwood drug scandal: Actor Ragini Dwivedi remanded to police custody

South India

Ragini was arrested following searches in her residence and subsequent interrogation by the CCB sleuths on Thursday.

Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi, who was arrested in the drug scandal case rocking the Sandalwood, has been sent into three-day police custody by a court in the Karnataka capital of Bengaluru on Saturday, September 5, according to an ABP News.  

The popular actor was produced by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) probing the case before a magistrate via video conferencing. She was arrested following searches in her residence and subsequent interrogation by the CCB sleuths on Thursday.

The investigating team has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against her and 11 others, including high-profile party planner Viren Khanna at the Cottonpet Police Station. The FIR has Ragini Dwivedi and Viren Khanna as the second and third accused persons in the case. The other people named in the FIR include Shivaprakash alias Chippi, Prashant Ranka, Vaibhav Jain, Aditya Alva, Loum Pepper Ssamba, Prashant Raju, Ashwin alias Boogie, Abhiswamy, Rahul Tonse, Vinay and others.

Ragini Dwivedi and the other accused have been booked under section 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 21 (possession, purchase or uses any manufactured drug or any preparation containing any manufactured drug shall be punishable), 21(c) (rigorous imprisonment not less than 10 years), 27a (punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders), 27b (consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance) and 29 (Whoever abets, or is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence is punishable) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, according to a News Minute report.   

Ragini, an actor who has been a part of many Kannada movies is friends with Ravi Shankar, a man who according to the police was procuring and supplying drugs in parties. Viren Khanna is an event manager who organises high end parties in Bengaluru, especially for expats. He runs the Bangalore Expat Club that has thousands of members and organises parties.

In a related development, the Mid-Day reported that the drug peddlers who supplied drugs to Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty through her brother Showik Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case are the same people who might have been connected with the celebrities of the Kannada film industry as well. The Narcotics Control Bureau of India is probing the case to find out more links.

Karnataka home minister Basvaraja Bommai said that the probe into the drug racket in the state would continue till full details emerged. “Our investigations indicate deeper links which are being probed and we cannot reveal all information at this stage.”

Tourism minister C T Ravi said that the government would come down hard on those dealing in illegal drugs. “Drug mafia is trying to influence the investigation but our government will not be cowed down and all those involved will be brought to book.”

Image Credit: News Minute  

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