Sandalwood Drugs Racket: Crime Branch detains Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi

South India

The actress was detained after the CCB clueths raided her house and interrogated her

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Karnataka has reportedly detained Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi after conducting search operations at her apartment in Yelahanka in Bengaluru on Friday, September4, according to a report in The Hindu.

Based on information uncovered while probing a drug case with alleged ties to the film industry, two teams of police searched her house for three hours from around 6.30 am. Her car keys and mobile phones were seized and she is being questioned.

The CCB obtained the search warrant from a court after Ragini sought time up to Monday to appear before them in response to a notice served on the actress on Wednesday. She had sent a team of lawyers to the CCB expressing her difficulty to appear before them on Thursday.

“The CCB obtained some vital information and suspected that the evidence in the case could have been destroyed. We sought court permission to carry out the raid. She has been detained for further questioning,” a police officer was quoted by Indian Express as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, a second division clerk (SDC) with Regional Transport Office and a close aide to the actor was arrested in connection with the case. K Ravishankar, a resident of Vijayanagara, is currently under five days of police custody.

The CCB took over the probe into the case after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested three persons from the city, who included two natives of Kerala, who were allegedly supplying drugs to singers and actors in the Kannada film industry, also known as “Sandalwood”.

Filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh recently gave his statement in this regard to the CCB. He claimed that at least 15 people in the industry were involved in the drugs trade, according to a report in Hindustan Times.

Dwivedi, whose family hails from Haryana’s Rewari, was born in Bengaluru. She made her Sandalwood debut in the movie “Veera Madakari” in 2009. She shot to fame for her role in Kempe Gowda, Ragini IPS, Bangari and Shiva.

The investigating team also believes that the people arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau have links with film industry and politicians in other states. The preliminary investigation has revealed that one of the arrested Muhammed Anoop had deep connections with the son of former Kerala home minister and currently Communist Party of India (Marxist) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Anoop, who is in judicial custody now, had admitted that he had set up a hotel in Bengaluru with the financial support of Kodiyeri’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri. Another accused in the case said that this hotel was the hub of the drug deals. Bineesh had earlier admitted that he had borrowed Rs.3 lakh each to Anoop but was not aware of his activities related to drug pedalling.

Meanwhile, Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the drug racket busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau has connections with the gold smuggling case in the state now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency, Customs and the Enforcement Directorate and demanded a high level probe.

Image Credit: The Hindu

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