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Is Drug Probe Being Given Slow Burial Under Pressure?

Are the investigations into the drug racket, which gained nationwide attention soon after it was busted early last month, being given a slow burial?
Hyderabad | 4th August 2017
Are the investigations into the drug racket, which gained nationwide attention soon after it was busted by the Excise Enforcement Directorate early last month, being given a slow burial?

Apprehensions in this regard are slowly gaining ground following the sudden and unexpected lull in the investigation by the SIT after the breakneck speed with which it had virtually launched a war against the nefarious activities of the drug mafia.

The day-to-day progress in the probe had given a sense of relief to the citizens, especially the shocked parents of school and college kids who were being targeted by the drug mafia, that the vicious menace would be weeded out once and for all.

Even Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had viewed the issue very seriously, and directed the officers of the Excise and Prohibition Enforcement Directorate headed by Akun Sabharwal and Excise Commissioner Chandravadan to deal with the case with an iron hand, and crush the menace and not spare anyone involved, however high and mighty they might be.

With the full support promised by the state administration, the SIT, constituted specially for the purpose, went all out to eradicate the racket from its roots. Consequently the mastermind and kingpin of the drug mafia Calvin Mascarenhas and his two associates were nabbed.

Then the probe took a sensational turn when the investigating officials found a link between the drug mafia and Telugu film industry. A euphoria was created when the SIT served notices on 12 film personalities, including noted film director Puri Jagannadh, and film actors Ravi Teja, Tarun Kumar, Navdeep, Charmme Kaur and Mumaith Khan. For nearly ten days, the Tollywood artistes were interrogated one after the other for hours together. Even blood, hair and nail samples were collected from some of them.

Even the owners of some pubs and bars, which were considered as "addas" for the drug peddlers to make available contraband narcotic substances like LSD, cocaine and so on to their clients, were grilled.

However, the booming guns of the SIT officials suddenly fell silent soon after the prolonged questioning and grilling of the Tollywood artistes. This has triggered speculations that there must be something more to it than meets the eye.

The an attempt was diligently being made to dilute the drug investigations became clear with various sections of Tollywood slowly raising their voices against the SIT investigations. Allegations began to be voiced that the film industry was being singled out and targeted. The industry even addressed a letter to the Chief Minister requesting him to intervene in the matter and "ensure that investigation of film personalities is handled in a smooth way", whatever that means.

The revelation by the drug mafia of many names of persons coming from elite and influential families have also rattled these other powerful sections of the society, which are also allegedly exerting pressure on the powers-that-be in the state administration to "go slow" in the drug probe.

Given all this, and with the sudden calm, many are wondering whether the SIT has put the investigations into the drug racket on the backburner.
filed in:  Crime, Hyderabad Crime, Tollywood, Drugs, Special Investigation Team
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