A city court on Friday extended the police custody of noted Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjana Galrani and four other persons by three days.
The Central Crime Branch, which is probing the multi-layered drugs supply case involving high-profile accused such as Dwivedi, had sought the extension of police custody on non-cooperation grounds besides citing the arrest of two alleged drug peddlers on Friday.
Along with Ragini and Sanjana, police custody of four of their associates — Ravi Shankar, Rahul Shetty, Niyaz and Loum Pepper Samba — was also extended till September 14.
The CCB officials claimed that they are yet to complete the investigation. The officials have gained access to chat records between two accused, Ravi Shankar (a close friend of Ragini Dwivedi) and Prashanth Ranka. Besides, they have also completed the search operation of high-profile event organiser Viren Khanna in Delhi.
Earlier in the day, Dwivedi had moved her bail petition, which was adjourned by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) special court here to next Monday (September 14).
Dwivedi was taken into custody last week. Prior to her arrest, the police had searched her house on last Thursday over her alleged links with high-end party organiser Viren Khanna. Sanjana was arrested three days ago and has been in police custody since then.
The order came on a day when footage emerged of the two actors throwing tantrums and refusing to give samples for a medical exam and dope test. The samples were ultimately taken and police will continue their questioning.
In the video, Sanjjanaa is seen arguing why she should allow samples to be taken as they were against her fundamental rights. Ragini tells the police team, “If we get caught again, we will have to go to jail. Our life is already ruined.”
Sanjjanaa is seen in the video telling the crime branch, “I have lost trust in the police. I don’t know why I have been arrested. I asked you with folded hands, you are not telling me the reason. Even if I give blood tests, I don’t trust that the blood will be mine. My lawyers told me to say ‘no.’ It’s my fundamental right to say no. Nobody can force me to give blood samples. You people have tricked me into coming here. There is no evidence against me, I didn’t do anything wrong. Just because we spoke to each other over the phone doesn’t mean that I am involved in the crime.”
The police used this video to seek extension of their custodial interrogation on Friday evening. The actiors’ lawyers argued that they must be shifted to judicial custody as there were no drugs found in their possession and that their arrests were based entirely on hearsay evidence.
Police sought five more days of custody for Ragini and seven more for Sanjjanaa, but the magistrate allowed extension till Monday for both.
Two others accused in the drugs supply network were arrested between Thursday and Friday, and more bigwigs could be potentially arrested in the coming weeks.
The enforcement directorate has also got into the investigation now, tracking the money trail after foreign currency was recovered from the home of a Delhi based event manager.
Meanwhile, the crime branch sleuths have summoned a celebrity manager Prashant Sambargi for questioning after he claimed on social media that he knows of high profile names involved in the drug trade.
The drug probe also took a political turn, with former CM Siddaramaiah accusing the government of making false allegations and defaming opposition MLAs and protecting their own.
He tweeted, “Linking politicians in a case based on a photo with the accused is an unhealthy trend. There is no way to know the history of everyone participating in random ceremonies. But inviting them to official meetings &party campaigns demand extra care to check their illegal acts.”
(With inputs from IANS)