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Excise department sends notice to Telugu actor for links with drug peddlers

SIT of the Excise department has called at least 12 film personalities including six actors and one director to give their statements in connection with the ongoing investigation. They have been issued notices to appear before the SIT at its office between July 19 and 27.



The Telugu film industry in Hyderabad, known as Tollywood, was shocked on Friday when several actors were issued notices by the Telangana Excise (Enforcement) Department to appear before it in relation to investigation in the drug racket that was busted on July 4.

“We are not revealing their names ... they have been asked to appear before the SIT,” said a senior Excise official.

When asked about the grounds on which the notices were issued, the official said, “Some of the names came out during interrogation of the arrested accused and there were also some evidence against a few others.”

After busting the racket selling high-end narcotics like LSD and MDMA, the department has arrested 12 persons till Wednesday since July 2. The latest ones to be arrested in the case were an aerospace engineer who earlier worked for NASA and a businessman.

Officials said that among those who have been called for investigation is Tollywood’s top director Puri Jagannath who has directed 39 films including blockbusters like ‘Pokiri’. Others include top actor Ravi Teja, and P Navdeep, Tarun Kumar, A Tanish and P Subbaraju; actress Charmee Kaur, supporting actress Mumait Khan, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, singer Ananda Krishna Nandu, art director Chinna N Dharmarao.

Tollywood was shocked with the revelation of popular actor Ravi Teja’s name. His brother Bharath Raj who died in a high speed car crash on June 26 was allegedly a drug user but Ravi Teja’s image was always clean. Ravi Teja, Puri Jagannath and Charmee Kaur have denied anything to do with drugs and the racket in separate statements today.

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