Sushant Singh Rajput probe: No drugs consumed at July 2019 party, says Karan Johar, clarifies no ‘aides’ probed by NCB
Karan Johar’s name sprang up in Bollywood’s alleged drug links with politician Manjinder Singh Sirsa renewing his claims that a ‘drug party’ was hosted at the director’s residence in July last year.Updated: Sep 26, 2020, 08:41 IST
Filmmaker Karan Johar on Saturday issued a statement saying he neither consumes any narcotics substance nor does he promote or encourage its use. He also rubbished reports that claim two persons being questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the drug link in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death are his “close aides.”
Johar’s name sprang up in Bollywood’s alleged drug links with politician Manjinder Singh Sirsa renewing his claims that a ‘drug party’ was hosted at the director’s residence in July last year. The director-producer, however, dismissed the allegations as baseless and fake.
“In view of the current malicious campaign. I am reiterating that the allegations are completely, baseless and false. No narcotics substance was consumed in the party. I WOULD LIKE TO UNEQUIVOCALLY ONCE AGAIN STATE THAT I DO NOT CONSUME NARCOTICS AND I DO NOT PROMOTE OR ENCOURAGE CONSUMPTION OF ANY SUCH SUBSTANCE,” he said in a statement on Instagram.
Johar also stated, “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 do not know these individuals 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.”
His clarification comes in the backdrop of film executive producer Kshitij Ravi Prasad and assistant director Anubhav Chopra being quizzed by NCB in connection with the drug link in Rajput’s death on June 14.
Johar wrote that Chopra wasn’t an employee at Dharma Productions and was only briefly associated with them for two months as a second assistant director for a film between November 2011 and January 2012 and then as an assistant director for a short film in January 2013.
Prasad, Johar said, joined Dharma Productions’ sister concern Dharmatic Entertainment in November 2019 as one of the contract basis for a project which eventually did not materialise.
Prasad and Chopra’s name came up during the interrogation of Powai hotelier Ankush Arneja, an alleged drug peddler, who was arrested by NCB on September 13. NCB had recovered 42 grams of hashish and cash Rs1.12 lakh from his Powai home. Arneja is accused of selling drugs to high-profile individuals.
With several Bollywood celebrities under NCB’s scanner, the central agency has so far questioned actor Rakul Preet Singh, celebrity manager Shruti Modi, Rajput’s former talent manager Jaya Saha, Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash and film producer Madhu Mantena among others. Summons have also been issued to Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and fashion designer Simone Khambatta.
Actors Rhea Chakaborty, her brother Showik are among the 18 people who have been arrested by NCB in connection with the drug-related angle in Rajput’s death.