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AFP
September 27, 2020

Deepika Padukone questioned by India’s narcotics agency

World

AFP
September 27, 2020

MUMBAI: Indian police hauled in Bollywood megastar Deepika Padukone for questioning on Saturday in an escalating drugs probe following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Rajput was found dead in his apartment in June, sparking a media frenzy with rolling news channels speculating that his former girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, drove him to kill himself with narcotics and even black magic.

Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and openly accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him. The actress, who denies any wrongdoing and who has been hounded for months by the media together with her family, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying cannabis for Rajput and this week was denied bail. The saga has now morphed into a probe by authorities into drug-taking within the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Padukone, 34, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, was summoned earlier this week for questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai as well as actresses Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh.

Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday. Kapoor and Khan were are also expected to appear before the NCB on Saturday.

The narcotics agency said in a statement that it started the Bollywood drug investigation after the death of

Rajput.

Rajput’s family dispute reports that he suffered from depression and have openly accused the actor of stealing his money and harassing him.

Chakraborty, who has been subject to intense media coverage and speculation, denies any wrongdoing.

Director Karan Johar meanwhile, who has also been a target of TV channels and social media users since Rajput’s death, released a statement on Friday rejecting claims that drugs were consumed at a party that he hosted at his home last year.