Top Bollywood star Deepika Padukone questioned in drug probe

By ASHOK SHARMA 26 September 2020, 12:00AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — A top Bollywood star, Deepika Padukone, was questioned Saturday by India’s narcotics agency that is probing the movie industry’s links with drug peddlers and cartels, officials said.

She arrived at the Narcotics Control Board's office in Mumbai after receiving summons earlier this week while on a shooting stint in the western beach resort of Goa. Media reports say no drugs have been seized from her.

The board said in a statement that it started the Bollywood drug probe after the death of young actor Sushant Singh Rajput, whose body was found at his Mumbai residence in June. An investigation is ongoing.

According to the local media, Padukone was reportedly being questioned on whether she procured banned drugs for consumption following interception of phone messages making queries with local contacts. She is one of more than a dozen people working with the Hindi movie industry who have been questioned by the board in the past two weeks.

Deepika’s manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday and two other Bollywood actors are expected to be queried on Saturday.

A top Bollywood filmmaker, Karan Johan, said in a statement Friday that allegations of narcotics being consumed at a party hosted by him in July last year at his residence were “false and baseless."

Johar’s response came after an old video from a star-studded party at his residence surfaced on social media.

By ASHOK SHARMA 26 September 2020, 12:00AM

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