Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone was questioned for five hours by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) probing the alleged Bollywood-drug nexus linked to film star Sushant Singh Rajput's death case.
Padukone was confronted with her manager Karishma Prakash during questioning.
Prakash's WhatsApp chats, including purported conversations about ‘maal’ with one 'D', were on the radar of the anti-drugs agency.
The chats are dated to October 2017, and show Padukone asking for “maal” from K, after which the latter says she can ask “Amit” because he is “carrying.”
D then clarified that she wants “hash” and not “weed.”
According to a report by India Today, Deepika told the NCB that ‘maal’ and ‘doob’ were code words for cigarettes, ‘hash’ for slim cigarettes and ‘weed’ for thick cigarettes.
The ‘Piku’ actor confessed to sending the messages mentioned in the chat to Prakash but denied consuming any narcotics.
Earlier, it was reported that Padukone broke down thrice during the interrogation. However, she was asked by the agency to not play ‘emotional card’.
Following the questioning, the agency collected their phones as the alleged 'drug' chats were made using the same phones.
The drug law enforcement agency's chief Rakesh Asthana arrived in Mumbai on Sunday to take stock of the probe.
According to NCB sources, Asthana, who flew from Delhi to Mumbai on Monday to meet several officers and was briefed on the two drugs cases the agency had registered last month after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) wrote to it following the alleged chats of several Bollywood celebrities purportedly discussing drugs.
He was also apprised of the latest developments in the case by the NCB's SIT.
Meanwhile, considering the media frenzy around the `A-lister' Bollywood stars who are being questioned in the case, the Mumbai police on Saturday issued a warning that media should not engage in reckless chases of actors' vehicles.
There were reports that Padukone's husband and actor Ranveer Singh had asked the NCB if he could also remain present during her questioning. However, the NCB had on Friday clarified that it did not receive any such request.
The NCB also questioned actresses Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan at its office separately in connection with the alleged drug nexus.
The federal agency had arrested actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, and some suspected drug peddlers, earlier.
Rajput (34) was found hanging in his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14.
With inputs from Agencies