Free Press Journal

Hyderabad drug racket: actor Kajal Agarwal’s manager held


Hyderabad: The manager of actor Kajal Agarwal was today arrested in connection with the drug racket which the Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department claimed to have busted in the city earlier this month.

Puttkar Ronson Joseph was arrested after his house in Manikonda area here was searched and investigators found ganja (cannabis) at his house, an official told PTI.

With this, the number of people arrested in the case has gone up to 19, he said.

Meanwhile, actor Charmee Kaur, who is among those summoned, today moved the Hyderabad High Court, seeking its direction that she be questioned in the presence of women officers and her lawyers.

“I need legal assistance during the enquiry in order to protect my fundamental rights and also to avoid torture, coercion and threat,” her petition said, expressing fear that she may be compelled to give “false and self-incriminating” statement, and that officials may collect her blood, hair and nail samples against her will.

However, Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal said no samples are collected without the written consent of an accused person. Women officers are already a part of the probe team, he added.

Telugu actor Pallapollu Navdeep today appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing the case. His questioning was continuing late in the evening.

The SIT has summoned a dozen people from the the Telugu film industry for questioning after the alleged racket was busted in the city on July 2. So far it has questioned 27 people.

The racketeers supplied high-end party drugs such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Methylenedioxy Methamphetamine (MDMA) to employees of multi-national firms, members of the Telugu film industry and students, among others, the investigators said.

Sabharwal said the department was following the Supreme Court’s guidelines while questioning people.

“The department is following all provisions of the law including the Supreme Court’s guidelines as far as interviewing and questioning is concerned,” he said.

Art director Dharma Rao alias Chinna will appear before the SIT tomorrow, he said.

Since July 19, the SIT has questioned filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, and actors P Subba Raju and Tarun Kumar.

Those arrested include Dundu Anish, a US citizen and former aerospace engineer with NASA, and seven B Tech degree-holders working with multi-national companies in Hyderabad.