Bengaluru drug probe: Raid underway at actor Sanjjanaa Galrani’s home

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Kannada actor Sanjjanaa Galrani’s house in Bengaluru was on Tuesday searched by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with its probe into a high-profile drugs case allegedly involving singers and actors in the Kannada film industry, also known as Sandalwood.

Galrani, whose close aide Rahul Shetty is already in police custody, has been asked to appear for questioning by the bureau.

The raid at Galrani’s home comes after actor Ragini Dwivedi was arrested in the case in addition to 11 others named in a first information report (FIR) filed at the Cottonpet police station. Dwivedi, whose bail application was rejected by the first additional chief metropolitan magistrate court on Monday, has been remanded to police custody till September 11.

The police have named Shivaprakash, who reportedly produced some of Dwivedi’s movies, as the main accused in the case. Apart from the producer and Dwivedi, the FIR also names Viren Khanna, Prashant Ranka, Vaibhav Jain, Abhiswamy, Aditya Alva, Simon, Prashant Babu, Ashwin, Rahul Tonse, Vinay and a Senegalese national, Loum Pepper. According to officials, Pepper was the main supplier of the drugs.

“All these persons from accused number-1 to accused number-12 people including Dwivedi used to connive together to hold (Rave) parties at different parts of Bengaluru and call many clients,” ACP Gautham has stated in his complaint, according to PTI.

“They used to obtain drugs from the drug peddlers to supply them to businessmen, celebrities, some film actors and actresses, disk jockeys, software engineers and others and make money through illegal means and indulged in unlawful activities,” he added.

All the 12 accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 120b (criminal conspiracy), and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 under sections 21, 21C, 27A, 27B, and section 29.

Besides these 12 people, a separate case has been registered against BK Ravishankar, a clerk in the Road Transport Office, a close acquaintance of Ragini Dwivedi, police said.

As the war of words continued between the Congress and BJP over the case since Dwivedi campaigned for some of the candidates of the ruling party during elections, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa has said that there was “no question of protecting anybody”.

“Our goal is to put an end to the (drugs) business which is having a bad impact on students and youth. We are doing whatever is necessary (to fight the drug menace),” he said.