Telugu film industry on a 'high' over drugs

Telugu film industry on a 'high' over drugs

Police deny leaking name of actors to media

The arrest of a couple of suppliers and the call log from their mobiles has revealed a nexus between drug suppliers and the big-wigs of the Telugu film industry apart from the children of politicians. Ever since the Hyderabad city police arrested on Thursday two brothers of  leading Telugu actor Ravi Teja and a Ugandan national Cheema Clement who is said to be the supplier of cocaine, the film stars whose numbers were found on the call logs of the supplier are busy denying they have anything to do with the issue.

Some actresses have threatened to sue Telugu TV news channels for naming them. With the issue threatening to blow out of proportion, city police chief A K Khan has come out with a denial that the names were leaked by the police.

On Thursday, Khan astounded many by revealing at a press conference that they had names of 60 people, including some actresses, who were using drugs. Teja’s brothers —Raghu Babu and Bharat Raju—and their friend Naresh were caught at an eatery in the Jubilee Hills area after they purchased 1 gm each of narcotics from Cheema who was also arrested.

The police recovered 48 gm of cocaine from him. All the accused have been remanded to judicial custody. In the recent few weeks, the arrests of African nationals revealed the drug abuse among the high and mighty but for the first time, the police caught the suspects with cocaine in their possession which is a culpable offence.

Khan said they couldn’t move on the leads they have had for the past few months because they would have to prove possession of narcotic substances to charge them under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

“We have credible information that about 65 prominent people, including some actresses and entrepreneurs, regularly consume cocaine and other banned drugs. We are waiting for an opportunity to nab them while in possession of the drug as is required by law,” Khan said.

He also said the managements of nine prominent pubs most of them in upmarket areas of Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills and Madhapur are involved in the drug racket. He said they served drinks spiked with drugs to a select clientele.

All those named and their parents are busy issuing denials and giving alibis for their children. Apparently the police bit off more than they could chew and, hence, buckling to pressure from the top, have denied leaking the names to the media.

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