Kannada film actors Diganth Manchale and Aindrita Ray appeared Wednesday in connection with the drug case before the Central Crime Branch (CCB).
On Tuesday, the CCB, which is investigating substance trafficking in the Kannada film industry, gave notice to the actor-couple.
“The pair said in a tweet,” We got a telephone notice from the Central Crime Branch for a pending investigation tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11 am. We will be present with the CCB and comply entirely.
The development comes a day after police raided Aditya Alva’s luxury resort-bungalow, the son of late former minister Jeevaraj Alva, in the capital. The CCB has already detained actresses Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani along with seven others while at least seven more in this connection are on the lookout.
The CCB released a notice to star pair — Diganth and Aindrita Ray after completing the first round of inquiry, asking them to appear before them for questioning.
The CCB team sent notices to the pair, who could not be traced in Bengaluru, via WhatsApp. The pair referred to the notification and said Wednesday morning they will attend the CCB inquiry.
CCB sources say the pair were summoned in connection with the case of Banasawadi, which was registered in 2018. The name of the pair has been making the rounds ever since the police took the Sandalwood drug connection seriously.
The CCB has discussed the Sandalwood drug link in two ways so far. The former is based on the latest NCB raid, which detained former TV actress Anika D and two others. The CCB found a connexion to the actress Ragini Dwivedi’s boyfriend Ravi Shankar, Ragini Dwivedi, Rahul Thonse, Sanjjanaa Galrani, Prakash Ranka, and others during the investigation.
However, the CCB has taken up an older case that was reported at Banasawadi in 2018, where Prathik Shetty had been detained by police. The accused in this case is the former boyfriend of Ragini Dwivedi, Shivaprakash Chippi, jeweler Vaibhav Jain and Aditya Alva.
Aditya Alva is the son of Jeevaraj Alva, a former Karnataka minister, and his sister is married to Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi. Viren Khanna, who is a big-time party organizer in Bengaluru, Goa, and Mumbai, is the common link in both cases.
Police said Viren Khanna also established connexions within the community, through working as informers of the community. He used to tip the police about the parties held by his rivals for a period of time. On special occasions, he used to befriend senior officials and give them presents as well as supply them with information about his rivals.