The police said that actor Ragini Dwivedi’s friend used to procure drugs from a foreign national.

Sandalwood actor Ragini Dwivedi wearing a pink saree and smiling into the camera
news Crime Friday, September 04, 2020 - 19:01

The Bengaluru police's Central Crime Branch on Friday arrested actor Ragini Dwivedi in connection with the drug case. The actor was questioned for almost 7 hours since 11 am. Earlier, an FIR was registered in which one of Ragini’s friends was named, and so was another man who is a friend of Sandalwood actor Sanjjana Galrani.

Ragini had applied for anticipatory bail but the hearing was postponed to Monday, September 7. Her application will now be treated as one for regular bail and she will be produced before a judge via video conference. She is expected to remain in CCB custody till Monday.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that the CCB began a probe into the case after the police seized a truck-load of marijuana in August. Upon interrogating the accused, the CCB learned that Ravi Shankar, a clerk at the Regional Transport Office in Jayanagar, was allegedly involved in procuring drugs and used to attend high end rave parties in Bengaluru. Ravi Shankar is a friend of actor Ragini Dwivedi. Many pictures and videos have surfaced on the media that show Ragini and Ravi at various parties.

“We learned that the person working in the government office was related to someone in the film industry. While the CCB was investigating him (Ravi Shankar), we learned that he used to attend parties and provide drugs and also consume them,” Commissioner Kamal Pant added. 

The CCB arrested Ravi Shankar on Thursday after questioning him for six hours. The police seized his cellphone and found photos and other evidence of the people who attended these parties with him. “After rigorous questioning, we learned that he was attending these parties and procuring drugs from various places. He has confessed to his activities and we are bringing in more people in connection with this case,” Kamal Pant said. 

When asked about his connection with Ragini Dwivedi, Kamal Pant said that Ravi Shankar allegedly confessed to have been connected to her. “He used to procure drugs from a foriegn national and we will arrest this individual soon,” Kamal Pant added. 

Ragini Dwivedi began her career in films in 2009 with Veera Madakari. She has acted in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi movies. Her popular films include Khandahar, Gandedhe, Namaste madam, Face to Face, Kicchu and Rambo Rajkumar.

Meanwhile, the CCB has also arrested a close associate of Sandalwood actor Sanjjana Galrani named Rahul. A real estate business man and architect, Rahul allegedly used to visit countries neighbouring India and procure synthetic drugs, which he allegedly procured for various parties, where several celebrities from the Kannada film industry also attended. 

“We arrested Rahul and after investigation, we have learned that he used to go to other countries to procure drugs and also that he and several celebrities attended parties abroad too. We have not issued any notice to actor Sanjjana. The investigation has just begun and we will take this one step at a time,” Kamal Pant added. 

The police have taken suo motu cognisance of the issue and an FIR has been registered at Cottonpet Police Station naming Ravi Shankar and Rahul as prime accused in the drug case.   

Minister CT Ravi issues warning   

Speaking to the media on Friday, Karnataka Tourism Minister CT Ravi said that vested interests in the drug mafia were trying to intimidate the police and influence the investigation. He said that the state government would not be scared of prosecuting these individuals. 

“Drug mafia is not something that came into being now. It has been there for a long time but there have been no actions taken in the past to get to the root of the issue and to eliminate the entire mafia. Our government is committed to eliminating the drug mafia. Members of the drug mafia are trying to influence the current investigation and our government is committed to bringing everyone involved to book,” CT Ravi said. 

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