Actor Arjun Rampal was on Friday questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai in a drugs case, PTI reported, citing an official.
Rampal, who was initially summoned on Wednesday, was questioned for six hours in connection with the alleged drug use in the Bollywood film industry, the official said. His partner Gabriella Demetriades was also interrogated by the central agency for almost six hours on Wednesday and Thursday.
The actor told reporters after his questioning that he had nothing to do with drugs. “I have prescription for the medicine which was found at my residence and the prescription has been handed over to NCB officials,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency. “I am cooperating with the investigation and the NCB officials are doing a good job.”
The NCB had summoned Rampal and Demetriades after it raided the Mumbai residence of the 47-year-old actor on Monday. The central agency said it has seized electronic gadgets from the actor and asked him to join the investigation on November 11.
The searches at Rampal’s house were a part of three raids conducted by the NCB in Mumbai’s Andheri, Khar and Bandra areas. The NCB had previously taken Rampal’s partner Gabriella Demetriades’ brother Agisilaos Demetriades into custody for links with peddlers arrested in an ongoing drug case linked to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
The NCB has also arrested Paul Bartel, an Australian architect whose name emerged in the questioning of Agisilaos Demetriades, according to NDTV. Bartel will be produced in a local court later in the day.
The NCB had on November 8 arrested Shabana Saeed, the wife of Bollywood producer Firoz Nadiadwala, after investigators seized 10 grams of marijuana during a raid at her Juhu residence in Mumbai. She was sent to judicial custody on Monday. However, she was granted bail the next day. On October 26, the agency had arrested five people in Mumbai, including television actor Preetika Chauhan.
The anti-drug agency has launched a crackdown on film personalities’ allegedly drug-fuelled lifestyles ever since it began investigating Rajput’s death. The agency claims to have unearthed a close nexus between illegal drug consumption and the film industry. On September 8, the NCB had arrested Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty in a drug case related to Rajput’s death, and also questioned Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan in the same matter.
The agency had described Chakraborty as an “active member of a drug syndicate”. She was granted bail on October 7.
On October 12, top Bollywood filmmakers and producers filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court against “irresponsible reporting by certain media houses” around Rajput’s death. The lawsuit was filed against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari of the channel; and Times Now and its prominent anchors Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar. On November 9, the Delhi High Court issued notices to Republic TV and Times Now on the plea.