Sunday, October 11, 2020

Centre steps in to check NCB

  • Go after drug syndicates, peddlers, not consumers
  • Film stars may have a sigh of relief, for Now!
by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group
New Delhi, Oct 10
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is understood to have been cautioned in the infamous Mumbai Drug case to go after the peddlers and drug syndicates rather than film stars. The NCB officials were quoted by several TV channels last week several big names of film industry will be called for questioning. The NCB officials did not deny these reports creating a panic. The NCB had arrested more than a dozen persons including Rhea Chakraborty and some associates of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput who was found hanging in June last.

It now transpires that the Union Home Ministry has cautioned the NCB to exercise extreme caution and it should go after drug syndicates and peddlers. But individual consumers should not be harassed if they are not part of the "drug syndicate".

If sources in the Union Home Ministry are to be believed, it had only directed that the SSR case be handed over to the CBI for probe instead of Mumbai Police. Even the Enforcement Directorate was roped in the probe. But it was never the case that innocents be harassed. The CBI Director R K Shukla, on his part did not play the role of an "over-enthusiastic" officer.

Even the AIIMS Forensic team headed by Dr.Sudhir Gupta ruled out the possibility of death by strangulation. Later, the ED also conveyed to the government no case of money laundering has been made out.

Meanwhile several representations, personal and written, were made to the Prime Minister's Office and Home Ministry that everything should not be seen with the political prism. Many in the BJP also told the leadership that dragging the drug consumption case to a battery of film stars will not give any political mileage to the party.

It is learnt that the NCB has now been told to focus on drug syndicate and big operators involved in the smuggling and those helping in it. The NCB has been told not to abandon the probe but to put the probe in the "slow lane."