Sandalwood drug mafia: Ragini is first Kannada actor in police custody

After Ragini dodged CCB notice on Thursday, the sleuths raided the apartment in Yelahanka on Friday and searched her flat for 3 hours

Bengaluru: The drug mafia controversy in Sandalwood is slowly tightening noose around film stars, with CCB police taking leading actress Ragini Dwivedi into their custody for questioning.

After Ragini dodged CCB notice on Thursday, the sleuths raided the apartment she is staying in at Yelahanka in the early morning on Friday and searched her flat for over three hours, before taking her into custody.

Ragini was calm and smiling while being escorted from her Yalahanka apartment, Ananya, before being whisked away in her own car to CCB office in Chamarajpet.

In the beginning, Ragini tried protesting the interrogation stating that she was being targeted for being a friend of Ravi Shankar, an employee of the Transport department.

First, she denied any knowledge about drugs, but later said that Ravi Shankar might have procured drugs a couple of times for personal consumption, but was never a drug dealer.

When the police checked her four mobile phones, they realised that Ragini had uninstalled WhatsApp. Ragini could not give a convincing reply as to why she deleted WhatsApp, which was operational for the last two days. Later, they seized the phone, two laptops, her flat key as well as her car key. A bag and some liquor bottles from her car.

Meanwhile, soon after the raid started, two advocates representing Ragini came near the apartment. However, police did not allow them to meet Ragini till the entire search operation was completed. Just before leading Ragini was taken to the police car to take her to CCB office, the two lawyers were allowed to meet her for a brief period.

The CCB team headed by ACP Anjumala descended on Ragini's flat at around 6.45 am and continued search till 9.30, before taking her to their custody. The police claimed that Ragini was adamant and at times, gave contradictory replies over the issue.

Besides, the police also realised that Ragini had another flat in the same apartment and searched that apartment also. Meanwhile, another team of CCB searched her house in Indiranagar also.

Ragini's name cropped up after a Goa-based drug peddler Ahmed confessed that he had supplied drugs to Ravi Shankar, a Transport Department official. Since Ragini was his girlfriend, she was put under the scanner. Later, Ravi Shankar had named Rahul, who had investment in a Casino in Sri Lanka and another relative Karthik Raj

Interestingly, Rahul's girlfriend Sanjana Galrani and Karthik Raj's friend Sharmila Mandre are also sandalwood stars. Karthik Raj had recently joined BJP during by-elections and campaigned in Shivajinagar constituency. On Friday morning, CCB left Karthik Raj, but have continued custody of Rahul.

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