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Rahul Mahajan case finds Bollywood link

The Nigerian drug peddler, who provided drugs to Rahul Mahajan, is supposed to have links with some prominent Bollywood personalities as well.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 16:50 IST

Rahul Mahajan was interrogated through Tuesday night and Wednesday to reconstruct the events at the drug-laced party that killed an aide of his late father and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan.

Investigators probing the death of Bibek Moitra and the brush with death of Rahul also uncovered suspected links between a Nigerian who allegedly sold the killer narcotics for the June 1 party and Bollywood personalities.

Remanded in police custody for two days Tuesday, police officers started to question the 31-year-old Rahul late in the evening. The interrogation continued intermittently Tuesday night, well up to 2 a.m. Wednesday.

After letting him sleep for some hours, he was again taken for questioning on Wednesday morning, police said as they readied to take him to his father's 7 Safdarjung Road where the party took place.

"We will take him to the bungalow to find the sequence of events. There are gaps in the statements given by (Rahul) Mahajan and we are trying to close these gaps," one official said.

Rahul was charged with drug abuse after four days of high-pitched drama during which he was admitted to the Apollo hospital, which itself has come under a cloud for initially giving him a clean chit.

Investigators say they have stumbled across information linking Nigerian drug peddler Abdullah, who allegedly sold the drugs to Sahil Zarru that eventually reached the Mahajan residence, with some film producers in Bollywood as well as designers and businessmen here who were clients.

"We have come across a lot of names and we have also sent teams to Mumbai to check the claims made by Abdullah," said a senior police official.

"If the details are found to be true, we will inform Mumbai Police and it will be their prerogative to take any action.

"We have nothing to do with these details as it does not affect our case. But police teams will verify the claims made by the drug peddler and authorities concerned will be informed if necessary."

In a related development, Harish Sharma, a personal secretary of the late Pramod Mahajan, was arrested along with an employee of the BJP leader early Wednesday on charges of destruction of evidence. They were later granted bail.

Sharma and the staffer, identified as Ganesh, had apparently cleaned up the Mahajan home after Rahul and Bibek threw up after consuming champagne and drugs. The two were also accused of hiding the champagne bottles.

A police officer said: "He (Harish) probably thought he would be able to hush up the case. Therefore both of them cleaned up the house and hid the two champagne bottles.

"The forensic report of Sahil Zarru's vomit revealed he too had consumed drugs. Rahul's blood test reports also suggest that he had consumed narcotic substances."

A Delhi Police team has gone to Mumbai to check the antecedents of Rahul Mahajan and Sahil in Mumbai. Sahil is a Kashmir man based in Mumbai.

"We want to find out about their previous involvement in any criminal activities and past medical treatment record," an officer said.

Rahul is charged under Sections 21, 25, 27 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. If proven guilty the accused can be jailed for a maximum of 20 years and fined Rs.200,000 ($4,400).

Officials said they were also contemplating sending Sahil to Srinagar Thursday to verify the claims made by him during his interrogation.

"We suspect that Sahil had brought drugs from Srinagar on several occasions and given them to people in Delhi and Mumbai," a police source said.

Rahul came face to face with Sahil in the early hours of Wednesday.

"Since both Sahil and Rahul have stayed in Mumbai for a long time, we are trying to find out if they knew each other before meeting June 1."