23 Sep 2020: NCB summons Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara in drug probe
In a major development in the drug probe linked to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, fellow actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh have been summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
The drugs probe was launched after the Enforcement Directorate (ED)—which is investigating the money laundering angle—stumbled upon WhatsApp chats involving Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and others.
Details: Actors asked to appear before NCB within 3 days
According to NDTV, the actors who have been issued the summons have been asked to appear in the next three days.
Earlier, Padukone's manager Karishma Prakash had been questioned in connection with the case after the emergence of WhatsApp chats from Chakraborty's phone, which had revealed conversations about the procurement of drugs.
Notably, Chakraborty has already been arrested by the NCB.
Backstory: Chats on Prakash's phone led to emergence of Padukone's name
Prakash's name had emerged in the widening drug probe during the questioning of Chakraborty's talent manager Jaya Saha on Monday.
Prakash was summoned by the NCB and chats on her phone revealed conversations about procuring "maal" (marijuana), "hash" (hashish), "MD" (MDMA), etc.
In chats dating back to October 2017, "D" had asked "K" for hash. "D" has been identified as actor Deepika Padukone.
Fact: Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor reportedly named by Chakraborty
It had earlier been reported that Padukone, Kapoor, Khan, and Singh may be summoned by the NCB for questioning this week. The names of other actors had also emerged during investigations. Khan and Kapoor—both former co-stars of Rajput—had reportedly been named by Chakraborty.
History: Rajput found hanging at home on June 14
Rajput (34) had been found hanging at his Mumbai flat on June 14. While the initial probe by the Mumbai Police suggested suicide, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) amid allegations of foul play.
Chakraborty was accused by the family for abetting Rajput's suicide and illegally transferring Rs. 15 crore from his account. This led to an ED probe.
Drug probe: Emergence of Chakraborty's chats launched drug probe
Chats on Chakraborty's phone revealed conversations about the procurement of drugs. She has said the drugs were intended for Rajput, who allegedly smoked marijuana.
She has been arrested in a separate case pertaining to the seizure of 59 grams of marijuana in Mumbai.
She and her brother Showik have been sent to prison till October 6. Two of Rajput's employees have also been arrested.