9:22 PM PDT 9/27/2020


Abid Rahman

Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan.

Prodip Guha/Getty Images

Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan.

Indian media reports that Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan have also been quizzed as part of a widening investigation into the entertainment industry’s links to drugs and cartels.

Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were questioned by India’s narcotics agency on Saturday as part of a widening investigation linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Padukone, who featured in Hollywood film xXx: Return of Xander Cage, is the most high-profile star to be quizzed by India’s Narcotics Control Board (NCB). Local media reports say the Piku actress was questioned at an NCB office in Mumbai for six hours. Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday.

Kapoor and Ali Khan were questioned at NCB offices later on Saturday. Last Friday, actress Rakul Preet Singh was brought in for questioning. More than a dozen people in India’s entertainment industry have now been questioned in an investigation that is the talk of Bollywood and the country.

Authorities have not yet accused or charged the actresses with any wrongdoing.

The expanding probe follows the arrest earlier this month of Rajput’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, for allegedly buying drugs for him, a claim she has repeatedly denied.

Rising Bollywood star Rajput, who gained plaudits for his turn in sports biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, was found dead at the age 34 in his Mumbai apartment in June. Police ruled that Rajput had died by suicide.

His family later filed a police complaint against Chakraborty, her brother and Rajput’s former house manager for supplying the late actor with cannabis. That initial probe has now morphed into a larger investigation of narcotics in India’s entertainment industry and now involves three federal agencies.

The agencies involved have released few details about the investigation which in turn has created fevered media speculation with the story dominating newspapers, news sites and cable TV in India.

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