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Telugu film actor Tanish Alladi on Monday appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana's Excise Department, probing a Hyderabad drug racket, on Monday. The actor reached Abkari Bhavan, the office of the Prohibition and Excise Department, at 10 a.m. Four officials of the SIT were questioning Tanish about the allegations that he takes drugs and also has links with the peddlers arrested in the case. After a day's break, SIT resumed questioning Tollywood personalities in connection with the case. Tanish is the 10th artist to be grilled by the SIT, which has so far questioned top actors like Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur and leading director Puri Jagannadh.
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Actress Mumaith Khan, actors Tarun, Navdeep and Subbaraju were among others quizzed in the case over last two weeks. Ravi Teja's driver Srinivasa Rao was questioned on Saturday, a day after the actor was grilled for over nine hours. The investigating team has summoned 12 Tollywood personalities for questioning. Their names cropped up during the investigations when SIT allegedly found their contact numbers in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, said to be the kingpin of the racket. Some sections of Tollywood alleged that the industry is being unfairly targeted, but the Telangana government denied it. It pointed out that SIT questioned several people from other walks of life.
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Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has also assured the film industry that those using drugs would be treated as victims and not as accused but sought their help in identifying the peddlers. The SIT has so far arrested 20 persons, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with the NASA, a Dutch national Mike Kamminga and seven B. Tech degree holders, most of them employed with multi-national companies.