Bollywood drug busts: Ananya Panday, Deepika Padukone, among actresses probed by authorities

by · Khaleej Times

Bollywood actor Ananya Panday has denied using drugs or helping anyone procure them during her questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The NCB raided Panday's Mumbai home and seized her laptop and mobile phone in its investigations.

The 22-year-old was summoned, reportedly, based on two-year-old WhatsApp chats found on the phone of Aryan Khan, the son of superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Her questioning will continue on Monday.

Ananya Panday and Aryan Khan are part of a group of star children who have been known to socialise together.

The star kids are the latest in the anti-drug agency's crosshairs after many prominent names were questioned or arrested in connection with an alleged "Bollywood-drugs" link that emerged in the course of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death investigations.

Several big names were dragged into the case, which fuelled months of media coverage and speculation in India.

Sushant Singh Rajput's girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, was arrested last year for allegedly buying drugs for him - claims she has denied. She was granted bail after spending months in jail.

Her arrest last year brought Bollywood on NCB's radar as the agency questioned many Bollywood personalities in the last year.

In 2020, NCB was probing an alleged Bollywood-drugs nexus and had summoned top actor Deepika Padukone.

Actresses Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh were also questioned separately by the NCB.

Statements of Padukone and fellow actor Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh, among others, were recorded by the NCB in September, 2020.

None of the actresses have been accused of any crime. They were summoned on the basis of the chats the NCB found in phones of Rhea Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput's talent manager Jaya Saha.

In the last year and a half, since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, NCB has aggressively probed the connection between Bollywood and drugs.

Since then, several celebrities have been arrested in drug-related cases.

Television actor Preetika Chauhan was arrested in October 2020 for alleged possession of ganja (cannabis). She was released on bail.

In November 2020, comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Haarsh Limbachiyaa were arrested by NCB. The authorities found ganja from their residence and office. They were later granted bail.

Shabana Saeed, Firoz Nadiadwala's wife, was arrested in November 2020 after NCB raided the Nadiadwala house and found 10 grams of marijuana. She was granted bail by a Mumbai court.