Following the arrest of young Malayalam actor Shine Tom Chacko, Kerala Police is now hoping to gather more information on Malayalam film industry's connection with the drug mafia. After initial investigation, police revealed that the drug mafia's association with the film industry is bigger than expected.
Shine had told police that he was at the flat for a "Smoker's party", which is a common affair among those in the film industry, but the actor refused to say the names of others who were part of such parties.
Authorities believe that the arrest of Shine Tom Chacko is the tip of the iceberg and more arrests can be expected in a few days.
Recent reports suggest that the enquiry has pointed towards a producer of Malayalam cinema being the major connector of the drug mafia with the film industry. Apparently, the producer whose name is not yet revealed have been accused of dealing in drugs and is known for arranging rave parties in a luxury cruise in the city.
"The police will take action against those who are involved in such cases, irrespective of their social status. We have already launched a massive campaign 'Safe Campus Clean Campus' and it is a two-pronged strategy which includes awareness and police action. What we saw yesterday (Saturday) was police action and this will continue very strongly. Law breakers will be taken to task," Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told Manorama Online.
Meanwhile, B Unnikrishnan - director and general secretary of the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) - said that people should not generalise the industry with this single incident and added that Malayalam industry is a responsible space.
"I do not think there is any need for even a caution because we have a very responsible film industry. One stray case has happened and it's too early from any quarter to make sweeping statements about the film industry here," added Unnikrishnan.
The flat - from where the actor, associate director and three other models were arrested - belongs to controversial businessman Mohammed Nizam, who was arrested two days ago for ramming his vehicle against a security guard in Thrissur. The security gaurd is currently hospitalized with serious injuries.
Nizam had rented out his flat to Reshma, one of the detained models, and police is also checking if Nizam has any association with the drug mafia.
A few days ago, actor and filmmaker Sreenivasan had also made headlines when he lashed out at new generation filmmakers who are addicted to cannabis. He had also asked police to arrest those who indulge in narcotics.
Reshma, in her statement to the police, that the cocaine they were using was from Goa. This led to more confusion.
'Clean Campus, Safe Campus' and 'Addicted to Life'
Amidst all controversies, the Kerala Government decided to go ahead with its campaign against drugs in a major way. The campaign - "Clean Campus, Safe Campus" - was started in 2014 by the state government and has been receiving great response from parents, students and teachers
The campaign is a concerted effort by the Home and Education departments to check the rising trend of substance abuse among students as well as counselling and awareness programmes. The campign has Malayalam actor Mammootty as the brand ambassador.
As an extension of the programme, Mammootty had introduced an online campaign - "Addicted to Life" - which had become an instant hit. The campaign was also joined by many stars of the industry who vowed to eliminate drug addiction among youngsters.