Bengaluru: Kannada film actors Diganth Manchale and Aindrita Ray on Wednesday appeared before the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with the drug case.
The CCB, which is probing the drug abuse in the Kannada film industry, had issued notice to the actor-couple on Tuesday.
In a tweet, the couple had said, "We have received a telephonic notice from the Central Crime Branch for an ongoing enquiry at 11 am tomorrow (Wednesday). We will be present and fully cooperate with the CCB."
The development comes a day after the police raided the lavish resort-bungalow of Aditya Alva, son of former minister late Jeevaraj Alva, in the city. The CCB has already arrested actresses Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani along with seven others while it is on the lookout for at least seven more in this connection.
After concluding the first round of investigation, the CCB issued notice to star couple — Diganth and Aindrita Ray, asking them to appear before them for interrogation.
The CCB team issued notice through WhatsApp to the couple, who could not be tracked in Bengaluru. The couple reacted to the notice and said that they would be attending CCB inquiry on Wednesday morning.
Sources in the CCB say that the couple had been summoned in connection with the Banasawadi case, which was registered in 2018. The couple's name was making the rounds ever since the police took the drug link in Sandalwood seriously.
So far, the CCB has explored the Sandalwood drug connect in two angles. The first one is based on the recent raid by NCB, which had arrested former television actress Anika D and two others. During the investigation, the CCB found a link to actress Ragini Dwivedi's boyfriend Ravi Shankar, Ragini Dwivedi, Rahul Thonse, Sanjjanaa Galrani, Prakash Ranka and others.
However, the CCB has taken up an older case that was registered in 2018 at Banasawadi, where the police had arrested Prathik Shetty. In this case, the accused are Ragini Dwivedi's former boyfriend Shivaprakash Chippi, jeweller Vaibhav Jain and Aditya Alva.
Aditya Alva is son of former Karnataka Minister Jeevaraj Alva and his sister has married Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi. The common link in both the cases is Viren Khanna, who is a big-time party organiser in Bengaluru, Goa and Mumbai.
Police said that Viren Khanna had developed contacts within police also, by acting as police informers. For over a period of time, he used to tip off the police on the parties organised by his competitors. He used to befriend senior officials and send them gifts on special occasions as well as provide them information against his rivals.