Bengaluru: Probe into drugs, hawala, terror funding widens
67 persons interrogated, including ‘Loose Maada’ and brother of film actor Prema
Bengaluru: In a bid to dig deep into the drug mafia's roots in the state, the Internal Security Division of the Karnataka Police had till Tuesday interrogated more than 67 persons. They include Kannada actor, Yogesh, known as Loose Maada, and cricketer and brother of noted film actress Prema, N. C. Aiyappa who were questioned on Monday. On Tuesday, the ISD also summoned TV stars Abhishek Das and Geeta Bhat.
ISD ADGP Bhaskar Rao said, "Our angle of investigation is entirely different from that of the ongoing investigations by the Bengaluru police. We are looking into aspects of whether this has drugs-hawala-terrorist links." He added that the ISD had interrogated more than 67 persons so far including actors, TV stars and others. "Our jurisdiction is the entire state and we need to keep track of these events in order to keep track of so many issues. Be it hawala, drug mafia besides terrorist links," he explained.
The department has served notices to several small screen stars. It is confirmed that the drugs scandal also involves people from television and several actors and actresses from this field have been served with notices asking them to be present for questioning.
Actor Yogesh and an employee of a private TV channel was questioned. Yogesh, as per sources, was addicted to some substances when his opportunities started dwindling several years back but he claimed that he does not have any contact with any drug peddler now. It is being said that Loose Maada and actress Ragini are friends and have attended some parties together.
Two TV artistes, Abhishek and Geetha, have been asked to be present for enquiry on Tuesday. It is said that cricketer Aiyappa, brother of actress Prema and a small screen actress from Kodagu were questioned by ISD officials on September 19 from morning to evening. "I received a notice from ISD on Friday which is quite surprising for me. I learnt that 15-20 people have also received the same notice.
I don't attend parties nor do drugs. I have no connection with Ragini Dwivedi. We have not been in touch for several years. In 2013, we both acted in one movie. My relationship is only in connection with cinema and nothing beyond that," Yogesh said ISD police also arrested Ran Danial (22) and Gokul Krishna (24), both from Thiruvananthapuram, near Karihobanahalli Circle on Andrahalli Main Road in Peenya, and seized ganja and LSD. During the investigation, it is learnt that some accused were associated with Yogish.
"The arrested peddlers admitted that they were supplying drugs to celebrities and to the sons of well-known politicians, but no link to my name. I a recent interview I admitted that I am addicted to smoking and drinking because of depression after my movies flopped. I am out of that habit.
I haven't been to parties since 2011. I don't even know who the accused are in the drug case except Ragini, Sanjjanna and Aindrita. Blaming the entire film industry is not correct. There are several non-filmi people like Vireen Khanna, Rajul, Aditya Alva."
Ragini and Yogesh acted in Bangari. At that time, rumours were rife that both dated. Yogi's mother Ambuja, said, "My son hasn't done anything wrong and he is clea. If at all, he is involved in any of these illegal activities, he will be punished as per the law."