The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the high-profile Hyderabad drug bust case told reporters that investigations are being carried out in accordance with the Supreme Court guidelines.
Addressing the media on Monday, the SIT chief—Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal (IPS) said a woman officer was part of the SIT and assured that they won’t identify any minor involved in the case as required by law.
“Additional Commissioner of Excice and Prohibitions Raja Shekar Rao and STF officer Ch Vijay have been chosen as the official sources for the department who will act as Information Officers going ahead in the case,” Sabharwal said.
The officer also brushed aside allegations of targeting a specific group of people, given that 12 film personalities have been sent notices.
"Some people are continuously saying we have targeted some specific group of people, which comes under defamation. We will seek legal remedy to counter this,” he added.
Refuting allegations of blood samples being taken forcibly, he said, “If anyone is willing to give, we will take. That too with written consent.”
Clarifying that consumption of drugs is also a crime, he said, “Not just selling, consuming drugs is also a criminal offence under specific acts of the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substance Act and Rules, 1985 and abetting someone in consuming attracts legal procedure.
Sabharwal refused to give much importance to the threat calls he received on Friday, saying his bodyguards were well-equipped to protect him.
The arrest of three alleged drug dealers, a musician named Calvin Mascrenhas, Abdul Quddos, a private employee, and student Abdul Wahab in the first week of July, led to the biggest ever drug bust in the city.
The trio, along with others, had been supplying potent drugs like LSD and MDMA to over 1,000 students – some as young as 13 – studying in 27 colleges and 26 schools across the city. The other suspected clients were film personalities, techies and college students.
Twelve Tollywood film industry members were also served notices by the SIT to appear before them for questioning by July 30, as they were found in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas.
The enforcement wing of the state’s excise department has so far arrested 13 accused, including US citizen Dundu Anish -- an aerospace engineer who had earlier worked with the NASA, and seven B. Tech graduates, most of whom were working for multinational companies.
As of now, seven cases have been registered, 27 people have been questioned and 19 people have been arrested in the case.