In a new development in the Sandalwood drug probe, the Bengaluru police said on Tuesday that a forensic report has confirmed the drug use of some of those who were earlier arrested in connection with the case, Firstpost reported. Among those arrested in 2020 in connection with the case were actors Sanjjanaa Galrani and Ragini Dwivedi, who primarily work in Kannada cinema.
A chargesheet has now been filed in court and according to the police, this evidence will help during the trial to prove drug abuse.
“I am proud to announce that our Bengaluru police worked speedily and impartially in investigating the drug cases. There is a good development in the case filed last year in September,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner, Kamal Pant told the media.
Calling it a victory for the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru Police who were investigating the case, he said that a report from Hyderabad’s Forensic Science Laboratory proves that some of the accused “used to take drugs.” Hair samples of the accused were sent to the Hyderabad lab for testing.
Known as the ‘Sandalwood drugs scandal’, the case is an ongoing investigation that started in August 21, 2020 when the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided an upscale gated community, Nikoo Homes, in Bengaluru. Along with a number of drugs, a diary containing names of 15 celebrities, including actors, musicians, models and reality show personalities from the Kannada entertainment industry, was also seized.
Those named were then accused of procuring drugs (including marijuana), arranging high-end rave parties, and supplying them at such events.
Dwivedi, known for the 2011 film Kempe Gowda, was arrested on September 4, 2020 after the CCB raided her house in connection with the case. The actor was booked under several provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Indian Penal Code. Four days later, Galrani, who has starred in films like Ganda Hendathi and Dandupalya 2, was arrested in the same case.
Other names that came up in the drug probe include actor Vivek Oberoi’s brother-in-law and former minister late Jeevaraj Alva’s son, Aditya Alva; party organisers Viren Khanna and Rahul Tonse; producer Sivaprakash; Vaibhav Jain; Prashanth Raju; and Prashant Babu. The main drug supplier is reportedly a Senegalese national named Loum Pepper.