Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday refuted allegations that the Telugu film industry is being targeted in the recent crackdown on the drug racket by the Excise department.
He assured that only criminals will be booked and innocent people will not be harassed.
"It is brought to our notice that some film personalities are using drugs. When we question the users, we will get information and leads to those supplying, selling and the ones in the drug business, and they will be exposed. We are using the drug users to get at the main culprits," Rao said.
So far, 12 people from the film industry and 27 others have been questioned. Telugu film celebrities who have been questioned include Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Charmee Kaur, Mumaith Khan, Subba Raju and director Puri Jagannath. Also, two foreign nationals and another 22 people have been arrested in various drug related cases.
“In the case of those supplying and selling drugs who belong to the film industry, cases will be booked against them,” Chief Minister added.
Senior police officer Rao reiterated that the state government is bent upon eradicating the social evils from the state and that the SIT is on the job to nip distribution and use of banned drugs in the bud.
Rejecting the reports of the large-scale use of drugs in the state, the CM said, "The government’s aim is to eradicate the supply of drugs at the entry level. Telangana is not in the list of states where there is a drug menace nor the city of Hyderabad is in the list of cities where there is large-scale drugs consumption."
“Sale, supply, and consumption of drugs is there all over the country. According to the statistics by Narcotics Central Bureau (NCB), Punjab registered 10,220 cases, UP 6,755, Maharashtra 1903, Tamil Nadu 1402 and Rajasthan 1115. Other cities include Mumbai 1512, Delhi 829, Kanpur 551, Amritsar 457 and Kota 242. Hyderabad is not among the cities where there is higher drugs use,” he added.
Investigations have revealed that the drugs are being supplied from countries like Spain, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, Netherlands, and Columbia. Rao has announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for any information regarding the case. He has also instructed the officials to continue the investigation and book the culprits whoever they may be.