No “actionable inputs” have been received on any nexus between people in the film industry and drug traffickers, the government told the Lok Sabha today in the backdrop of allegations on the matter following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. With the Narcotics Control Bureau’s arrest of Sushant Rajput’s friend Rhea Chakraborty during investigations into the drug angle in the case, the Hindi film industry has been facing sharp criticism.
The issue found resonance in parliament, with veteran actor Jaya Bachchan strongly refuting actor Ravi Kishan’s allegations on Bollywood drug nexus.
In response to a written question in the Lok Sabha on whether the government has conducted a detailed inquiry into the matter, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy today said the Narcotics Control Bureau has found no such “actionable inputs” during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“However, a case in this regard has been registered by NCB Mumbai zonal unit on August 28, 2020. Till date, in this case 10 persons have been arrested. Drugs such as Ganja, Hashish, Tetra Hydro Cannabinol and Lysergic acid De-ethylamide have been seized in the operation,” minister added.
Allegations regarding drug use in Bollywood were first made by actor Kangana Ranaut. Several prominent actors will be “behind the bars” if the Narcotics Control Bureau investigated the film industry, said the actor who has been involved in a huge row with the Maharashtra government over her Mumbai unsafe comment and the subsequent comparison of the city with Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
On Monday, her remarks on drug use found support from Ravi Kishan, a popular Bhojpuri and Hindi actor. In a statement in Parliament, Ravi Kishan said several people have been arrested in the industry for drug use and it was all a conspiracy by Pakistan and China targeting the country’s young people.
“I urge the central government to take strict action against the culprits soon. Give them a befitting punishment and bring an end to this conspiracy by neighbouring countries,” he said.
Today, Jaya Bachchan issued a spirited refutation, saying a whole industry cannot be tarred because of a few people.
“I was really embarrassed and ashamed that yesterday one our members in the Lok Sabha, who is from the industry, spoke against the film industry. Jis thaali me khaate hain usi me chched karte hain,” she said.
Ravi Kishan stood by his allegations, saying, “When Jaya-ji joined, the situation was not like this but now we need to protect the industry”.