Hyderabad, July 24 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Hyderabad drug racket has so far arrested 19 accused and not ruled out more arrests.
It so far questioned 27 people including five from Telugu film industry, officials said on Monday.
They have not ruled out further arrests in the racket, which was busted early this month and caused a sensation following startling revelation that the accused were selling drugs to school and college students and even Tollywood celebrities.
Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department’s Director, Enforcement, Akun Sabharwal, who is heading the probe, told reporters that SIT had so far registered seven cases and arrested 19 people.
Puttkar Ronson Joseph alias Johny Joseph, belonging to entertainment industry, was arrested on Monday and narcotic substances were recovered from his possession.
Sabharwal said they were acting as per law and following all guidelines of the Supreme Court in questioning the people connected with the case.
He denied the allegations made by some people from Tollywood that SIT was targeting film industry. He said those questioned include people from various walks of life.
The IPS officer said all those summoned for questioning were being quizzed by a four-member team including a woman officer.
On actress Charmme Kaur moving Hyderabad High Court seeking direction to SIT not to forcibly collect her blood, hair and nail samples, Sabharwal said the samples were being collected only with written consent.
“We have so far collected samples from two persons,” he said. If the person being questioned refuses to give samples, the same will be conveyed to the court, which will then decide further action.
Two actresses, who were among 12 Tollywood personalities summoned for questioning, could appear at the place of their choice.
Without naming Charmme, he said the actress had conveyed to SIT through her father that she will appear at the SIT office.
The police officer also clarified that entire questioning was being videographed and the same will be submitted to the court.
Prohibition and Excise Commissioner R. Chandravadan said the questioning process started on July 19 and it will continue till August 2.
“The investigation is still going on. We are not ruling out what will be future plan of action. The number of those arrested will not be limited to what we have given,” he said.
Stating that it is a multi-pronged probe, Chandravadan said the department was taking help from police, Narcotics Control Bureau and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
The department has so far recovered 3,000 units of LSD, 105 grams of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, 45 grams of cocaine and other narcotic and psychotropic substance.