With all the conversation on drugs and celebrities these days, this conversation has come knocking on Sandalwood's doors. The Narcotics Control Bureau on Thursday uncovered a celebrity drug racket in Bengaluru.
This racket has been functioning since 2015. What was also unearthed in a shocking revelation was that many key figures in the Kannada film industry were associated with the ring in procuring party drugs.
Sandalwood faces accusations on drug abuse
The NCB's Bengaluru zonal unit had broken into a drug circuit in Bengaluru. This was a well-connected network of dealers who were arrested on Thursday. Mohammed Anoop and Rijesh Ravindran two dealers along with the kingpin Anikha Dinesh were taken into custody. The NCB also seized 145 ecstasy/MDMA tablets in Royal Suits a service apartment in Bengaluru with 2.2 lakhs in rupees. At Thanisandra they recovered 96 ecstasy pills and 180 LSD blots, reported Times of India.
On Ravindran's phone, the NCB found 2,000 stored numbers which included Kannada celebrities and personalities in the film industry. These names included top actors, prominent musicians and children of VIPs. As of now, an investigation into the matter is still on.
This news has sent shockwaves in the industry, as the public has begun conversing on the 'drug mafia' within Sandalwood. Filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh had spoken to the media on a local television channel about the drug racket, and said that he would go on record to state the names of those associated with it. Further, he stated that this pertains to section in the industry and shouldn't be taken as the industry at large, he said to Public TV.
Now the Central Crime Branch's Narcotics Wing has asked filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh to come forward and help in this case, ANI reported. Similarly, renowned actress Sumalatha Ambareesh said on Thursday to the media, that, "The drug menace exists wherever there are drug dealers but I am not aware of Sandalwood artistes taking drugs." Film producer Rockline Venkatesh had also said he wasn't aware of the drug mafia.
Famed actress Sharmila Mandre had spoken to TV9 Kannada saying that, "So far I have never experienced anything like this. These types of incidents, till now I haven't experienced it and also since I've done so many films before. I come from a film background, my grandfather, my father is in film distribution and are film producers so I've never experienced it all this while."
Perhaps, the investigation will reveal further details and in a way the perception of the Sandalwood industry, we'd never quite known before.