Bengaluru: Actor Ragini Dwivedi was Monday remanded to five-day police custody by a Bengaluru sessions court even as investigators alleged that she was stone-walling most questions and was not co-operating.
The prosecution claimed that the CCB had been able to interrogate the actor for one of the three days she was in custody as she was constantly complaining of back pain. The CCB said that Ragini had to be taken to various spots for inspection and that she needs to be questioned regarding her role in the drug case.
The CCB told the court that the actor had deleted all messaging apps and chats on her mobile phones and that she was not cooperating with the investigation. “We wanted to find out dates, places where the parties were held, who sold the drugs and who consumed them. We also told the court that we needed time to question her on her financials,” CCB sources were quoted in the media.
The CCB alleged that Ragini attended high-end parties and allegedly consumed drugs in those parties. The CCB has also arrested Viren Khanna, a high profile party planner, Rahul Tonse and Senegalese national Loum Pepper Samba, who allegedly had links to the drug trade.
Meanwhile, in another breakthrough, the CCB on Monday arrested Kerala native Niyaz, for allegedly supplying drugs to these parties. Niyaz had settled in Bengaluru five years ago. “We will give more details after questioning him,” the CCB source added. Sources indicated that he was a big catch.
City Crime Branch police also reportedly detained businessman Prashanth Ranka, an alleged drug supplier to celebrities and high-profile parties.
Police sources said they are questioning Ranka about his alleged participation in high-profile parties, his role in procurement and supply of drugs to actors and celebrities. “Yes, he’s an accused in the case. We may arrest him any time now,” a senior police officer told the media.
CCB police have so far arrested four of the 12 suspects in the case: Ragini, event managers Veeren Khanna and Rahul Tonse, and African Loom Pepper. “We have picked up a few suspects relating to drug peddling by actors and celebrities. We’re questioning them to find their network,” a police officer said.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka BJP has issued a statement distancing itself from Ragini after it emerged she had campaigned for the party during the 2019 byelections. “Ragini Dwivedi is not a member of BJP nor had the party assigned her any electioneering work. She may have been involved on her own,” BJP spokesperson Capt Ganesh Karnik said in the statement. “We disown Ragini for her involvement in the drug racket,” he added.
The high-profile case had a funny side too. On Sunday, a man knocked at the doors of the CCB office declaring that he is accused No. 13 in the drug racket and that he attended many parties with Ragini. He identified himself as Aravind, a friend of Shankar. “He came to the office on a scooter with a tea flask. Later, he claimed he was a drug consumer,” a police officer said. Cops took him into custody and let him go after collecting personal details, including address. “He looks like he is mentally disturbed,” a police officer added.