Telugu director Puri Jagannadh was subjected to an intensive grilling session by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in relation to the recently busted drug racket in Hyderabad, wherein several Telugu film personalities received notices to appear for investigation.
The director was questioned by the officials, beginning 10 AM and left the SIT’s office late evening. After the probe, Jagannadh took to social media to claim his innocence.
“I was summoned by the officials of the SIT today and answered all their questions. I told them I do not know who Calvin is, I’ve never ever met him nor do I have any relation with him. If called by the officials again, I will go and appear before them. I’m a responsible person and have never tried or used drugs in my life. I will not do it in the future either. I have many friends in the media and we often meet over a coffee. But the way this whole drug issue is being handled on television is ruining many lives. My parents, my wife and my kids have been crying and are upset with the whole issue. Honestly, the media has hurt me a lot,” he said in the video posted on Facebook.
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According to The Hindu report, Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal, who is heading the probe, said that the film personalities were served notice because their contact numbers were found in the call data of Calvin Mascraenhas, the kingpin of the racket. The investigation includes intensive grilling of those personalities who were sent the notice – including actors Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Charmme Kaur, Tarun, Subbaraju and Nandu, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu and art director Chinna.
The racket lead to the discovery of about 1,000 students from leading private schools and colleges in the city using high-end drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). Advisories have been issued to over 50 schools and colleges so far.
Among the 13 persons arrested – since the racket was exposed on July 2 – is a US citizen identified as Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who had worked with the NASA, and seven B.Tech graduates, most of whom were working with MNCs in Hyderabad.