28 Sep 2020: "Forced to implicate KJo by NCB," alleges arrested film executive
Film executive Kshitij Prasad, who was last week arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the ongoing drugs probe linked to Sushant Singh Rajput's death, was "harassed and blackmailed" by the agency's officers, his lawyer Satish Maneshinde told a Mumbai court on Sunday.
Prasad was forced to "falsely implicate" filmmaker Karan Johar and other top executives of his firm, the lawyer further alleged.
Details: 'Told will be let off if I take Karan's name'
In a detailed statement to the magistrate, Prasad alleged that Sameer Wankhede, zonal director of NCB, told him that since he was associated with Dharma Productions, "they would let me off if I take the names of Karan Johar, Somel Mishra, Rakhi, Apoorva, Neeraj or Rahil and say that they consumed drugs."
He added he was harassed for refusing to comply with this condition.
Fact: "Officer held up his shoe to my face"
"Wankhede told me that since I was not cooperating, he would teach me a lesson. He made me sit on the floor next to his chair and held up his shoe to my face and said that this was my worth," Prasad further alleged.
Details: NCB only found a dry cigarette in my home: Prasad
Prasad, who has since been sent to judicial custody until October 3, also alleged that the NCB team only found a dry cigarette butt in his house during the search, but tried to prove it as a "marijuana joint."
"They even prepared a panchnama (the probe record) to that effect despite me protesting against it," he added.
Statement: Meanwhile, Johar has refuted the allegations
Meanwhile, Johar has distanced himself from the drugs case.
In a statement, he said the allegations against him were "baseless and false."
The filmmaker also said he did not personally know Prasad and Anubhav Chopra, another former associate of Dharama Productions who was questioned by NCB.
"Neither l, nor Dharma Productions can be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives."
Case: 'Drug chats' in Sushant's case led to this probe
The NCB had launched a probe after another agency investigating Sushant's death found certain WhatsApp chats that hinted at drug abuse.
Sushant, a 34-year-old Bollywood star, was found dead at his apartment in Mumbai on June 14. The actor died by suicide and had been suffering from depression, Mumbai Police said.
Apart from NCB, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate are also probing the matter.
Developments: Nearly 20 held by NCB thus far
Nearly 20 people have been arrested by NCB in this case.
They include Sushant's last girlfriend, actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, two employees of Sushant, and a number of alleged drug peddlers.
Over the weekend, three top Bollywood actors, viz. Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were also questioned.
Separately, Rhea's bail plea will be heard by Bombay High Court, tomorrow.