Sunday , May 28 2023

Is There A ‘Sinister’ Game Plan to “Dilute” the Probe in Drug Scandal?

Hyderabad,    Is there a sinister game plan to dilute the ongoing investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Excise and Prohibition Enforcement Directorate to root out drug abuse in the society that seemed to be assuming an alarmingly cancerous proportion, especially in the Telangana State capital.

          This question assumed importance in the wake of a sudden and surprising filmy twist in the drug probe when Tollywood actress Charmee Kaur dared to take head on SIT which had issued a notice to her along with other film artistes to appear for interrogation in connection with the probe. The actress in a way seemed to have succeeded in stalling the SIT from obtaining her blood sample by filing a petition in the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad.

           With the court concurring with her contention had ruled that blood or hair or nail samples cannot be obtained without the consent of the person, who has been summoned for interrogation. Thus, Charmee, for reasons best known to herself, need not give her blood sample. What is more, she with her action has helped in opening a Pandora’s box as many others to be interrogated would refuse to oblige the SIT in taking their blood samples. As a matter of fact, Actor Navdeep, probably having an inkling about Charmee moving the court in this regard, had refused to allow SIT to obtain his blood sample on Monday.

What has come as a big surprise was that when the drug racket was busted by SIT on July 2 and speculations began to circulate about the involvement of film artistes in the drug racket following certain clues obtained from the call data of the mobile phone of Calvin Mascaranhas, a shocked Telugu film fraternity pledged unstinted support to the authorities in the investigations to weed out the drug menace. The Movie Artistes Association also pledged unstinted cooperation to the authorities in the matter.

What is more, when SIT issued notices to 12 film artistes to come for interrogation, almost all of them had agreed to do so and extend full cooperation in the matter. Even Charmee Kaur had expressed her consent to appear before interrogators. However, many an eye brow were raised when she took a sudden U turn four days after the interrogations began and moved the High Court mainly objecting to give her blood sample.

The question that was making rounds in various circles now is whether Charmee had decided to dare the SIT on her own or was it a move with the tacit support of the film fraternity because there has been criticism in the Tinsel Town that the film industry was being targeted in the drug scandal. Akun Sabharwal, Director of Excise and Prohibition Enforcement Directorate, had repeatedly asserted that the main objective of constituting the SIT and entrusting it with the investigations was to primarily identify the peddlers and also the source of supply of the contraband narcotic substances.

There is no denial of the fact that to identify the drug peddlers and also the source of supply of drugs, it was imperative to first know those habituated to taking drugs and then from them extract information about the peddlers and the source of supply could be determined. And for this the investigating authorities say that they would be able to identify the drug users only through authenticated confirmation from the drug, hair and nail samples. Now refusal to oblige giving blood samples by those being summoned for interrogation would be like putting the spanner in the wheel, feel the investigating officials.

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