K’taka police widens probe into drugs-hawala-terrorist funding links

Bengaluru, Sep 22 (IANS) In a bid to dig deep into the drug mafia’s roots in the state, the Internal Security Division of the Karnataka Police had till Tuesday interrogated more than 67 persons. They include Kannada actor, Yogesh, known as Loose Maada, and cricketer and brother of noted film actress Prema, N. C. Aiyappa who were questioned on Monday.

On Tuesday, the ISD also summoned TV stars Abhishek Das and Geeta Bhat.

Speaking to IANS, ISD ADGP Bhaskar Rao said, “Our angle of investigation is entirely different from that of the ongoing investigations by the Bengaluru police. We are looking into aspects of whether this has drugs-hawala-terrorist links.”

He added that the ISD had interrogated more than 67 persons so far including actors, TV stars and others. “Our jurisdiction is the entire state and we need to keep track of these events in order to keep track of so many issues. Be it hawala, drug mafia besides terrorist links,” he explained.

The department has served notices to several small screen stars. It is confirmed that the drugs scandal also involves people from television and several actors and actresses from this field have been served with notices asking them to be present for questioning.

Actor Yogesh and an employee of a private TV channel were questioned on Monday, it is learnt. Yogesh, as per sources, was addicted to some substances when his opportunities started dwindling several years back but he claimed that he does not have any contact with any drug peddler now.

It is being said that Loose Maada and actress Ragini are friends and have attended some parties together. Two TV artistes, Abhishek and Geetha, have been asked to be present for enquiry on Tuesday.

It is said that cricketer Aiyappa, brother of actress Prema and a small screen actress from Kodagu were questioned by ISD officials on September 19 from morning to evening.

Meanwhile, whistleblower Director Indrajit Lankesh has demanded the handing over of the drugs case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a proper probe.

–IANS

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