The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru, which is probing the drug menace in the Kannada film industry, Friday arrested actor Ragini Dwivedi after questioning her following a raid at her residence this morning.
A team of CCB sleuths, including women officials, had reached Dwivedi’s residence at Judicial Layout in North-East Bengaluru at around 6 am after obtaining a search warrant from the court. Police said that important materials have been seized from her house.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested another accused in the case. Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), told indianexpress.com, “another accused, Viren Khanna, has also been arrested. He is the main person who organises big parties where drugs consumed. He was in Delhi, two police went to Delhi and arrested him from there, taken 4 days of police custody.”
On Wednesday, the CCB had served a notice to the actress asking her to depose before them on Thursday, but she sent a team of lawyers seeking time till Monday. The police directed her to appear before them on Friday.
On Thursday, a second division clerk (SDC) with Regional Transport Office and a close aide to the actor was arrested in connection with the case. K Ravishankar, a resident of Vijayanagara, is currently under five days of police custody.
In a tweet on Thursday, Ragini had said that she would appear before the police on Monday morning. “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,” she had posted on the micro-blogging site.
The CCB intensified its investigation into a drugs haul in Bengaluru after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested three persons from the city, who were allegedly supplying drugs to singers and actors in the Kannada film industry, also known as “Sandalwood”.
Filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh recently gave his statement in this regard to the CCB. He claimed that at least 15 people in the industry were involved in the drugs trade.
Dwivedi, whose family hails from Haryana’s Rewari, was born in Bengaluru. She made her Sandalwood debut in the movie “Veera Madakari” in 2009. She shot to fame for her role in Kempe Gowda, Ragini IPS, Bangari and Shiva.