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Hyderabad drug racket: Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur, other Telugu film celebs summoned by SIT

Baahubali producer Allu Aravind claimed at a press conference that 10 celebrities in the Telugu film industry are into drug abuse.

Ravi Teja

Mayur Lookhar

A drug racket busted on 4 July in Hyderabad has led to some big names of the Telugu film industry, sometimes known as Tollywood. This comes after the arrest of drug kingpin Calvin, whose cellphone is said to have contained the numbers of celebrities from the industry.

According to The Indian Express newspaper, the list includes top director Puri Jagannadh, star Ravi Teja, actresses Charmme Kaur and Mumait Khan, P Navdeep, Tarun Kumar, A Tanish and P Subbaraju, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, singer Ananda Krishna Nandu and art director Chinna N Dharmarao.

The special investigation team (SIT) of the excise department has summoned at least 12 people from the film industry to record their statements. All of them have been asked to appear before the department between 19 to 27 July. 

Subbaraju has confirmed that he received a notice from the SIT. "I honestly have no clue what's happening," he told The Times of India newspaper. "At this juncture, even if I say something, it would go against me. I have been in the industry for long... when I have done no wrong, I know my reputation will clear me of any allegation.”

Navdeep has posted three tweets suggesting that his name cropped up because he had aligned with the wrong people (event manager) and urged the media and the people to have patience.

Mumait Khan expressed shock at the findings and said she had never taken drugs. She was quoted in an India Today magazine report as saying, “As per several reports in the past, I have been married and divorced six times. The next thing I might hear is that I am having kids (laughs). For a while, I have been battling severe health issues and am currently in Mumbai for treatment. Drugs don't figure in my scheme of things; medication already makes me feel weak.”

Meanwhile, Baahubali producer Allu Aravind held a press conference and said some celebrities from the Telugu film industry are addicted to drugs. “Rave party culture was limited to a few individuals within the confines of their homes in Mumbai. It has not spread its tentacles to Hyderabad. I am talking about 10 individuals in Tollywood who are doing this. They are bringing a bad name to the industry. They may think nobody can catch them, but I am warning them that police are watching them,” Aravind said.

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