I am a whistleblower: Indrajit Lankesh

Filmmaker makes sensational drug-addiction charges against actors; industry insiders view his claims with scepticism
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST

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Amid much scepticism, filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh has claimed he has evidence to implicate several actors and musicians in a drug scam.

He carried a file to the police on Monday, and later told reporters at least 15 people in the Kannada film industry were consuming drugs.

Top policemen Metrolife contacted said they would follow the leads provided by Indrajit, but a source close to him wondered if there was anything substantial in the ‘evidence’ he had handed the police.

Indrajit says he is doing it for a cause. “The evidence I have provided will help the police investigate the matter. They needed a whistle-blower and I chose to be one,” he told Metrolife.

He says children of prominent movie stars and politicians organise rave parties and consume drugs.

“I hold nothing personal against anybody, but the whole industry should not be tainted because of a handful of people,” he says.

Indrajit isn’t naming names yet, but is dropping enough hints to keep the rumour mills spinning. He had asked why no post mortem was done on Chiranjeevi Sarja’s body, but has now withdrawn the suggestion that the actor might have died of a drug overdose.

“I have experience on the sets of a programme when a star consumed drugs before going on the show,” says Indrajit, who has directed ten films and seven Kannada alone, including one starring Deepika Padukone.

He says he has gathered enough video evidence from locations where drugs are consumed. “I have with me statements of people from within the film industry. I am a journalist first and then a filmmaker,” he says.

He says his disclosure has made a lot of people uneasy. Many prominent directors, producers and actors are asking him why he had to get into all this when the matter could have been ‘internally resolved.’

“They were embarrassed at first, felt bad later and now are trying to kill the messenger. Why?” he says.

Somebody had to talk about it, he asserts, because many big cases are forgotten because of big people being involved. “What happened to the many honeytrap cases in our industry? There was an incident at South End Circle where four actors and a politician’s son were caught in a car and some substance was found in their vehicle? What happened to all these cases?” he says.

While some sections support him, not many are convinced Indrajit is going about it the right way. A source close to the family told Metrolife, “He (Indrajit) has always been the impulsive sort; he never thinks before he acts. He has just been talking and hasn’t produced any substantial evidence.”

The source wonders why, if what he is saying is true, he was going around filming people taking drugs. “This is happening in every field, but the film industry is always targeted because it attracts a lot of attention. And people always get something juicy out of it,” the source says. A young actor with successful projects wonders whether Indirajit is working for the Kannada film industry or against it. “How did he get the visuals, and why is it all coming out now? The whole industry cannot be tarred with the same brush,” says the actor.

The actor wonders who he is after. “I am sure a lot of people will not want to work with him after this,” says the actor.

‘Industry is destabilised’

Film critic and writer M K Raghavendra says the film industry is one of the worst managed and does little for justice and fair play. Juniors are often treated shabbily.

“There’s a huge amount of exploitation, and you can expect a lot of disgruntlement,” he says.

The disgruntlement remains under wraps mostly, but cases like the one relating to actor Sushant Singh Rajput could encourage voices that have been silent to speak out.

“But you cannot take them at face value but you can say that they contain some truth,” he says.

Raids that triggered row

On August 21, the Bangalore zonal unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau seized 145 MDMA pills, commonly known as ecstasy, valued at Rs 2.2 lakh, from an apartment in Royal Suites in Kalyan Nagar.

A woman, said to be the kingpin of a drug ring, was intercepted and more contraband was seized from her house at Doddagubbi, Bengaluru.

Three people were arrested: M Anoop, R Ravindran and Anikha D. They said they used to supply drugs to prominent actors and musicians in Bengaluru, according to the investigators.

Published 01 September 2020, 17:25 IST

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