Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday said persons using drugs including 12 film personalities called for questioning will be treated as victims and not as criminals.
He said the Prohibition & Excise Department was gathering clues from the drug users to get at those supplying and selling drugs. He said persons using psychotropic substance should change their habit and cooperate authorities in bringing the culprits to book.
The Chief Minister, who reviewed the progress in Hyderabad drug racket case at a meeting with high officials, said the authorities concerned had been given full freedom to act tough against all those involved.
"We will not spare anyone who is supplying, selling and doing business with drugs," he said.
"It is brought to our notice that some film personalities others are using the drugs. We are questioning them. They cannot be treated as criminals but should treat as the victims. Supply, sale of drugs is crime," a statement from the Chief Minister's office quoted him as saying.
"If among those supplying and selling drugs belong to the film industry, cases will be booked against them. So far, we have questioned 12 persons from the film industry and 27 others," he said denying that only Tollywood was being targeted.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said 24 accused including two foreign nationals had so far been arrested in the case.
"We have information that the drugs are being supplied from countries like Spain, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, The Netherlands and Columbia. We came to know of names of some kingpins. We have got key information and we will proceed with the investigation based on the information," he said.
He said there was also no truth in saying that there is drug menace in the Information Technology.
Stating that the government is committed to root out drug problem like the way it eradicated many other social evils, KCR rejected the reports that there was a large-scale use of drugs in the state and it had attained the level of a menace.
He clarified that Telangana is not in the list of states where there is a drug menace nor Hyderabad is in the list of cities where there is large-scale of drugs consumption.
Assuring that victims will not be harassed, the CM announced that persons who give information on 'Hookah' centres, playing cards clubs, supply of Cannabis (Ganja) and teasing of women will be given a cash award of Rs 1 lakh.