MUMBAI: Top Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has been questioned by India’s narcotics agency in an escalating drugs probe following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput earlier this year.
Padukone arrived at the Narcotics Control Board’s (NCB) office in Mumbai on Saturday after being summoned earlier this week while shooting in the beach resort of Goa.
According to the Indian media, Padukone was questioned on whether she procured banned drugs for consumption following an interception of phone messages and making queries with local contacts.
She is among more than a dozen Bollywood professionals who have been questioned by the NCB in the past two weeks over alleged links with drug peddlers, He manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday.
Earlier this week, Indian media broadcast sections of a WhatsApp conversation about procuring hash, alleging that the two people chatting were Padukone and her manager.
Three other Bollywood actresses – Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh – have also been summoned by the NCB. Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan, both daughters of famous Bollywood actors, appeared before the agency on Saturday, while Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday.
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Filmmaker Karan Johar, who has also been a target of TV channels and social media users since Rajput’s death said in a statement 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. While an investigation into Rajput’s death is continuing, authorities are probing the use of drug in Bollywood.
Rajput’s death also sparked a media frenzy with India’s news channels speculating that actress Rhea Chakraborty drove him to kill himself with narcotics.
Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and openly accused Chakraborty of stealing his money and harassing him. The actress, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying cannabis for Rajput.