The Indian Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is investigating a drug abuse case and may summon actress Deepika Padukone if they deem it necessary.
Sources of the agency said that some of the famous star's private conversations on WhatsApp are believed to be related to illegal drugs.
The deputy director of the NCB, KPS Malhotra, revealed that the agency had summoned Dhurv Chitgopekar, the KWAN talent management agency's CEO to deliver his inputs on the ongoing investigation.
According to HindustanTimes, the NCB prepared a guest house at the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) to receive the personnel. Dhruv arrived at the location along with the talent manager Jaya Saha of actor Sushant Singh Rajput to provide assistance to authorities.
Malhotra confirmed that no summons was sent to the actress or her manager, Karishma Prakash. However, the CEO said that the agency plans to send a summons to the manager later this week.
The NCB CEO said they are planning to question Prakash first before deciding whether or not they require Padukone to share her statements as well.
The agency's investigation of the drug case of Rajput's case, who was found dead at his home on June 14, revealed a wider nexus within the industry.
After Padukone's name was involved in the drug investigation, another prominent Bollywood star was added to the list, Dia Mirza.
Mirza's name popped up after officials interrogated drug peddler Anuj Keshwani who allegedly supplied drugs to the actress upon her request, as reported by Geo.tv.
The NCB will most likely summon Dia as part of the ongoing investigation. Reports show that the agency has also looked at drugs that Mirza purchased in 2019. Authorities believe that the popular actress has personally met with Keshwani on several occasions.
However, the actress has denied all allegations that she is involved in the drug case and denies she bought any illegal drugs.
Denying false accusations
Mirza said she was strongly refuting the claims in a tweet and called the reports false and baseless. She added the false accusations are of ill-intent and have damaged the reputation she has worked so hard to build up for several years.
According to The Logical Indian, Padukone's WhatsApp conversations revealed she was asking for hash from a contact simply named "K," who authorities believe is her manager, Karishma Prakash.
The leaked private conversations were dated 2017 and quickly went viral throughout social media platforms and news channels. After the controversial reveal, actor Kangan Ranaut posted on Twitter how Padukone's depression awareness campaign resulted from drug abuse several years before.
After Rajput's death in what some believe was a suicide, Padukone began being open about her fight with depression and called out to fans to be more public with their mental health and ask for help if they need it.
However, some social media users began criticizing the actress's efforts and sarcastically used her #RepeatAfterMe in a denigrating manner. Several posts called her an "influential mafia" and a "self-proclaimed mental health expert" after Rajput's death.