Deccan Chronicle

Do not defame anybody without proof: Siddaramaiah on Sandalwood drug scandal

Deccan Chronicle| vinay madhav

Published on: September 15, 2020 | Updated on: September 15, 2020

Political blame game intensifies in Karnataka with new names surfacing every day in connection with drug racket in the Kannada film industry

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant takes a look of 1,350 kg of marijuana (Ganja) sized by the police in Bengaluru.  PTI photo

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant takes a look of 1,350 kg of marijuana (Ganja) sized by the police in Bengaluru. PTI photo

Bengaluru: After 12 days of investigation by the CCB, while most of the arrested in Sandalwood Drug scandal case have been remanded to judicial custody, the political blame game has intensified.

While a photo of Revenue Minister R Ashok, along with Rahul Thonse, one of the arrested has gone viral, the spar between Congress MLA Zameer Ahamed Khan and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has continued over their trip to a Casino in Colombo.

On Monday, the main accused in the case — Viren Khanna, Ravi Shankar, actress Ragini Dwivedi, Rahul Thonse, Prashanth Ranka were remanded to judicial custody by 1st ACMM court in Bengaluru. However, another actress Sanjjanaa Galrani has been remanded to police custody for three more days till Sep 16, for further interrogation.

Though Ragini Dwivedi had applied for bail, her bail hearing was adjourned till Sep 16 and she has to spend two days at Parappana Agrahara jail. Though Ragini's advocates pleaded that she had health problems and the court should allow her to be treated at a private hospital, the court stated that she should be given medical assistance in the prison hospital.

Meanwhile, political blame game has continued over links with the drug racket. A photo featuring Rahul Thonse, who is arrested in connection with a drug racket offering cake to Revenue Minister R Ashok, has gone viral on Sunday night.

Ashok was quick to react and said that the photo was taken during inauguration of a project in his constituency. "A lot of people came and offered me cake and this is one of them. I don't remember seeing him either before that function or after that function. It happens to celebrities and we can't help it."

Meanwhile, irked over Zameer's comment that he had gone to Colombo Casino with HD Kumaraswamy and other JD(S) legislators, Kumaraswamy shot back saying that it was in 2014.

"Around the time, even that person (Zameer) was in our party. We needed to discuss some internal matters of the party in private. We worked out the places and Colombo worked out cheaper than Goa. That is the only time I went there. Drug racket is not just restricted to Colombo Casinos, but also in the  nightclubs of Bengaluru also. That has to be probed properly," he said.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah came out in support of Zameer and said that Zameer was being unnecessarily targeted, without even producing any proof. "If anyone is involved in the drug racket, they should be punished. No one should be defamed without any proof," he added. 

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