With as many as 26 staffers of the Mumbai zonal unit of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) testing positive, officials stated that the investigations will not be hampered and they are working on filing the chargesheet within the stipulated 180 days.
The agency has been probing one of the most talked about cases of the year linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput case. However, the investigation hit roadblock after 26 staffers tested positive for COVID-19. The silver lining, officials said, is that many of those who tested positive are joining work again after successfully beating the virus. “The staffers who recovered and tested negative are resuming work,” said a senior NCB officer. “We have called staff from Chennai, Ahmedabad and Indore to join us in the investigations.”
Sources in the agency said that they would be able to file the chargesheet in time. The agency said that the volume of work is high in the case as it involves questioning, surveillance and data analysis. “This is a case in which 20 people have been arrested, something no other recent case has witnessed,” said the officer.
As per the standard operating procedures (SOP), some staffers have isolated themselves as they had come in contact with others who tested positive. The recent officer to test positive for the virus is deputy director KPS Malhotra, who is at the forefront of the probe. Malhotra tested positive on Saturday and had isolated himself at his residence in Delhi.
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 angel in the case and has 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.