HYDERABAD: Much to the delight of Tollywood stars, being questioned in the drugs investigation, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is learnt to have hinted last week that drug addicts will be treated as “victims” and not “criminals”.
Highly placed sources said Rao told officials to treat only those as criminals who have supplied and sold drugs. Hence, the state is unlikely to register cases against addicts, unless they act as a liaison for peddlers. “Criminals will be brought to book, while victims will not be harassed,” the CM reportedly told excise officials at a review of the probe last week. Drugs were being supplied from Spain, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria and Netherlands, he said. “Government will not allow drugs into the State for supply. We will check supply of drugs at the origin,” he said.
Meanwhile, leading Tollywood star Ravi Teja, who was grilled for his alleged links with drug peddlers in Hyderabad, denied having any acquaintance with Calvin Mascarenhas, who had supplied drugs to children. Also, the actor reportedly refused to give his blood, hair or saliva sample. During the 10-hour-long questioning by the SIT officials at Nampally last week, the actor denied the claims made by Zeeshan Ali, one of the arrested drug peddlers. The actor has been facing allegations of being a consumer of various kinds of narcotic and psychotropic drugs, along with 11 other film personalities.
Since July 19, the SIT has questioned filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, actors P Subba Raju, Tarun Kumar and P Navdeep, actresses Charmi Kaur and Mumaith Khan, and art director Dharma Rao alias Chinna. A day before Teja was questioned, Kaur had also refused to give her consent for drawing the samples of body fluid, hair and nails when the Special Investigation Team grilled her for over six hours.
Few days ago, the two arrested drug peddlers Zeeshan Ali and Noah William had confessed that they had supplied drugs to Teja frequently. “The actor was questioned about the claims made by Zeeshan and others. He was also asked about the links his brother had and his relationship with Calvin and other peddlers and also about other stars. The actor has given satisfactory answers to the officials,” said sources.
The actor’s driver Srinivasa Rao, who reportedly acted as a courier, was also summoned along with the 10 other film personalities, said excise (enforcement) director Akun Sabharwal.
The sleuths of SIT, who arrested 22 people including the Holland national Mike Kamminga, have questioned 27 suspects besides two youngsters Taubeer Ahmed and Syyed Younis.