‘I was forced to falsely implicate Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Dino Morea’: Ex-Dharma producer Kshitij Prasad accuses NCB of coercion
A former executive of Dharmatic Entertainment, an offshoot of Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, told a court that Narcotics Control Bureau officers made him falsely implicate actors Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Dino Morea during questioning. The executive, Kshitij Prasad, was arrested in connection to the NCB’s ongoing probe into Bollywood’s alleged drugs links.
So far, actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh have been questioned by the NCB, with more names expected to be summoned soon.
“I have been repeatedly harassed and coerced into falsely implicating Dino Morea, Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor in the present proceedings despite me repeatedly stating that I do not know the said persons and have no knowledge of such allegations,” Prasad said in an application, according to the Indian Express. He said that he was retracting his statements, including the self-incriminatory ones.
Kshitij in a plea submitted through his lawyer Satish Maneshinde said, “I say that I am being mentally, emotionally and psychologically harassed and abused by the complainant (NCB) into making false statements.” The NCB described him as ‘totally non-cooperative, adamant and arrogant’.
Kshitij had previously alleged that the NCB forced him to implicate Karan Johar. Maneshinde was quoted in an Indian Express report as saying, “The NCB officers apart from Sameer Wankhede were courteous to Kshitij and provided him with a comfortable sleeping arrangement. The next morning when his statement recording resumed, Kshitij was categorically informed by Sameer Wankhede in the presence of several other officers, that since he was associated with Dharma Productions, they would let him off if he implicated Karan Johar and some others, falsely alleging that they consumed drugs. Kshitij refused to comply with this despite the pressure being mounted on him as he did not know any of these people personally and did not wish to falsely implicate anyone.”
Karan in a social media statement distanced himself from Kshitij, and said that he doesn’t do drugs. He said, “I would like to further state that several media/news channels have been airing news reports that Kshitij Prasad and Anubhav Chopra are my ‘aides’/’close aides’. I would like to place on record that I don’t know these individuals personally and neither of these two individuals are ‘aides’ or ‘close aides’. Neither I, nor Dharma Productions can be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives. These allegations do not pertain to Dharma Productions. I wish to further state that Mr Anubhav Chopra is not an employee at Dharma Productions. He was briefly associated with us for only two months in the capacity of 2nd assistant director for a film, between November 2011 and January 2012 and as assistant director for the short film in January 2013. He has thereafter never been associated with Dharma Productions for any other project.”
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