Tollywood drug bust: Ravi Teja's driver questioned by SIT, actor Tanish next
A day after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Hyderabad drug racket on Friday grilled leading Telugu actor Ravi Teja for nearly 10 hours, it was the actor's driver who was questioned on Saturday.
Srinivas Rao appeared at Akbari Bhavan in Nampally, which is the headquarters of the Prohibition and Excise Department of Telangana and headed straight for the SIT office.
According to reports, Srinivas was called, after one of the peddlers claimed that he would collect and transport the narcotics on Ravi Teja's behalf.
However, he denied the allegations to investigators, and said that he had no knowledge about the entire racket.
Officials now plan to match the two versions of events as narrated by Ravi Teja and Srinivas, to cross-check and verify if both of them were telling the truth.
Two others, Rohit Agarwal and Danish Rajadhan, were also questioned by the SIT on Saturday. However, officials remained tight-lipped about it.
On Sunday, the 11th Tollywood personality, film actor Alladi Tanish, will be quizzed by the investigators.
Popularly known as 'mass Maharaja' in film circles, Ravi Teja was asked if he was addicted to drugs. The actor did not give his body fluid, hair and nail samples.
SIT has already clarified that it will collect samples only with the consent of the person questioned.
He was also quizzed about drug addiction and peddling by his brother Bharath, who died in a road accident last month.
Ravi was summoned for questioning after his contact number was found in the call data of Calvin Mascarenhas and Zeeshan Ali, the two key accused arrested in the case.
The SIT had earlier questioned actresses Charmme Kaur and Mumaith Khan during the last two days.
On Friday, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao 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.