Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

The deputy director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), KPS Malhotra, who is at the forefront of the drugs probe related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, was found positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.

A senior NCB officer confirmed that Malhotra tested positive on Saturday and had isolated himself.

He was present during Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone’s interrogation in the matter. Posted in New Delhi, Malhotra has been camping in Mumbai to probe the drug angle in the case and had been playing a key role in the questioning of Bollywood celebrities.

Malhotra and NCB Mumbai's zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, have made 20 arrests in the case till now, including those of alleged drug peddlers. Actor Rhea Chakbraborty and her brother Showik have also been arrested in the case.

The teams headed by Wankhede and Malhotra have been focusing on unearthing the drug traffickers in the city who have been providing banned substances to their many high-profile clients.

Padukone was questioned with Karishma Prakash, who is employed with Mumbai-based KWAN Talent Management agency. Prakash, who was handling actor Padukone’s account, was probed for alleged incriminating chats with the actor, in which the duo reportedly discussed drugs.

Over 20 NCB staffers who have been part of the probe have tested positive so far. For the past few days, the agency had called in staffers from zonal units in other states to join them in the probe. In recent weeks, the NCB had to postpone the questioning Shruti Modi, the former business manager of Rajput and talent manager Jaya Saha, after one of the members of the special investigation team (SIT) of the NCB tested positive for Covid-19. Other celebrities questioned by the NCB include actors Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor.

The actors are under investigation over two FIRs filed by the NCB, in connection with allegations pertaining to drug procurement, conspiracy, consumption, among other charges. While 20 persons have been arrested in the second FIR, actor Rhea Chakraborty is the only person from the film fraternity to be arrested in the case till now.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal