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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

No material or evidence to corroborate Indrajit Lankesh’s claim about drug abuse in ‘Sandalwood’: Crime branch

Meanwhile, Kannada star Sudeep said he was not aware of the industry being in the grip of drug menace and appealed against its portrayal in a negative light based on isolated incidents.

By: PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: September 2, 2020 4:35:51 pm
indrajit lankeshJournalist and filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh had earlier stated that he knows at least 15 people from the Kannada film industry who are involved in the drug abuse racket. (Photo: Instagram/indrajitlankesh)

The Central Crime Branch, which has questioned filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh over the allegations he made in connection with drug abuse in the Kannada film industry, said on Tuesday no material or evidence was given to corroborate the claims. Lankesh had deposed before the police and was questioned for about five hours in connection with the alleged drug activities in the Kannada film industry, popularly known as Sandalwood.

“Yesterday Indrajit Lankesh was called to CCB and his statement was taken, wherein he mentioned about some past incidents and also took few names. No material or evidence was given to corroborate what he said. We are inquiring into it,” Bengaluru Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil said in a statement.

Patil added that the CCB will call Lankesh again and give him an opportunity to give any evidence or material if he has to support his statement. At the same time, the CCB would also do its own inquiry to collect evidence.

A day after deposing before the CCB and giving his statement, Lankesh on Tuesday claimed that at least 15 people in the Kannada film industry were involved in the drug business.

“I have given (names of) around 15 people who I know are into drug business. I shared those names with the police,” Lankesh told PTI.

Lankesh was questioned for nearly five hours by the Central Crime Branch on Monday for his statement that there were many people in the film industry who were into the drug business either as consumers or sellers. The filmmaker made the statement in the wake of the Narcotics Control Bureau busting a drug trafficking racket here and claimed some “prominent musicians and actors” in Karnataka were under its scanner.

Also read | Indrajit Lankesh deposes before police over claim on drugs in Kannada film industry

Meanwhile, noted Kannada film star Sudeep told reporters he was not aware of the industry being in the grip of drug menace and appealed against its portrayal in a negative light based on isolated incidents. The actor, who delivered several hits, said he hardly stepped out of his house once film shooting was over.

“I don’t have a large circle of friends, so I don’t know anything about it,” Sudeep, popularly known as Kichcha Sudeep, said after his visit to the Siddaganga Math in Tumakuru.

The 46-year-old actor appealed to the people not to portray the entire film industry in negative light based on some isolated incidents as it was a vast field, which has been nurtured by legendary people.

Meanwhile, film actor and BJP leader Thara Anuradha submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa highlighting the drug menace taking students and the youth of the state into its grip. She claimed that stringent laws such as capital punishment alone can check the problem.

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