Karnataka to probe drug links in Kannada film industry: Minister

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Basavaraj Bommai

Bengaluru–¬†Declaring a war against drug abuse, the Karnataka government ordered the police to probe into the alleged links between drug suppliers and the Kannada film industry, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday.

“We have declared a war against drugs and ordered the central crime branch (CCB) police to probe the alleged the Kannada film industry’s links to drugs in the aftermath of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) busting a trafficking racket in the state recently,” Bommai told reporters here in Kannada.

Disclosing that the state government was assisting the NCB in cracking the drug racket case, Bommai said Kannada film producer Indrajit Lankesh had also been asked to share information on his charge that some of the Kannada film actors were into drugs.

“As Lankesh claimed in a statement to local news channels on Saturday that a few film actors whom he know were into drugs, we have asked him to give us details for investigating his allegations,” said Bommai.

“The drug network in sandalwood (Kannada film industry) is far and wide and many young actors and actresses organise rave parties,” alleged Lankesh.

Busting the drug racket on August 26 in the city, the NCB arrested former Kannada television actress D. Anikha and two of her accomplices, R. Ravindran and M. Anoop.

The federal agency also seized huge cache of drugs from the accused, including 145 ecstasies or MDMA pills and Rs 2.2 lakh in cash from Royal Suites Hotel Apartment in the city’s northeast suburb on August 21 and more pills in a follow-up raid last week.

The drug racket is suspected of supplying recreational and party drugs to Sandalwood actors, children of VIPs, students and others.

“Noted musicians and actors in the Kannada film industry are under the scanner after their links to drugs came to light,” a NCB official earlier said.

As the darknet was being used by drug suppliers and consumers, Bommai said it was difficult to get information on where and in what quantity supply takes place.

“Darknet also has other illegal activities like child pornography, prostitution, international arms and related transaction,” the minister added. (IANS)

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