Sandalwood Drug Racket: Police Summon Kannada Actor Ragini Dwivedi

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Bengaluru: Kannada film actor Ragini Dwivedi Thursday sought time to appear before the Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru in connection with the drug racket that was busted on August 21.

She was summoned to appear today, but in a series of tweets, she said: “I am grateful for all the concern expressed by the public about a notice I received yesterday. As I received it at very short notice, I was unable to appear today before the CCB police. However, out of respect for the process of the law, my advocates have presented themselves before the police, have explained my difficulty in not being able to appear today and have sought time. I am committed to appear on Monday morning before the police.”

In another tweet, she said: “I consider it my duty as a citizen to humbly participate in any questioning that the police might have. I have nothing to hide and have no connection with any unlawful activity which is being probed by the CCB police.”

It was with the arrest of Anikha Dinesh and two others by the Narcotics Control Bureau that led the police to widen the probe as the arrested people had links with actors and musicians in Sandalwood. During interrogation, Anikha had dropped many big names of the Sandalwood industry who were allegedly part of her clientele.

Later, prominent director Indrajit Lankesh said he knew the names of actors who used drugs in rave parties. The police subsequently summoned him and he reportedly gave a list of people known to be using drugs that included Ragini’s name.

Meanwhile, Anoop Muhammed, one of the arrested persons, told the police that he was being financed by Binesh Kodeyeri, the son of Kerala CPM General Secretary Kodeyeri Balakrishnan, for running a hotel in Bengaluru. It was from this hotel that the drug mafia allegedly operated.

Anoop reportedly called Binesh 7-8 times with the last conversation being a day before Anoop found himself in police custody. Binesh had also attended a high-profile party organised by Anoop in the tourist centre of Kumarakom in Kerala.

NCP sources said they will probe the connection of the drug cartel with top personalities in Kerala and the film industry there.

 Sources said an international drug peddling racket allegedly supplied drugs like Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to Anikha and her team.

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