India’s narcotics control authority probing the Bollywood drugs scandal grilled model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal for over six hours in the city of Mumbai on Monday.
“We have not arrested Arjun, but that does not mean he has been given a clean chit. We have found discrepancies in his statements in connection with the seizure of electronic gadgets and some banned drugs during raids at his home last month,” a senior official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) told the media.
Arjun made his acting debut in romantic flick Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat in 2001 and went on to act in more than 40 films since then. He played lead roles in a number of romantic films such as Deewaanapan (2001), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Dil Ka Rishta (2003), Vaada (2005) and I See You (2006), but tasted success in 2002 for hie performance in Aankhen.
Arjun was earlier questioned by the anti-narcotics sleuths for close to seven hours on November 13. His live-in partner was also grilled over two days, while her brother was arrested in connection with the seizure.
NCB started probing the drugs scandal following the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June. Among the first to be arrested in connection with the case were his actor-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik. Both are currently out on bail.
Rhea was, in fact, arrested by NCB on September 9, following days of questioning, and accused of procuring cannabis for her late actor-boyfriend, whose body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Mumbai flat on June 14.
Immediately after the arrest of Rhea, the names of at least 20 top Bollywood celebrities — from actors to filmmakers to designers — surfaced in the drugs case. Several of them, including leading female Bollywood actors — Rakul Preet Singh, Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor — were subsequently grilled by NCB.
The grilling came in the wake of WhatsApp chats retrieved from Rhea’s mobile phone indicating that they procured banned substances like cannabis, weed and hash from dealers with links to foreign countries. All the actors, however, reportedly denied any links with such drug dealers.