- Deepika Padukone questioned at anti-drugs agency's Mumbai office
- Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan also summoned by Narcotics Control Bureau
- Probe agency questioned actors to "understand supply network"
Actor Deepika Padukone was questioned for six hours today by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai. Ms Padukone was summoned, along with actors Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan, in a widening drugs probe linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput death investigation.
Ms Padukone was questioned at the Evelyn Guest House in Mumbai's Colaba, where the Narcotics Control Bureau's Special Investigation Team has set up a base. Ms Kapoor and Ms Khan, who were being questioned separately at the NCB's Ballard Estate office, have also left. Sara Ali Khan left at 5.30 while Shraddha Kapoor left 5.55pm after hours of questioning.
Ms Padukone's manager Karishma Prakash is also being questioned for the second consecutive day. She had reached the NCB office earlier this morning.
On Friday, the NCB questioned Karishma Prakash and actor Rakul Preet Singh about the contents of a WhatsApp chat which allegedly indicated marijuana was bought for consumption. Ms Prakash's questioning went on for much longer than actor Rakul Preet Singh's, which lasted four hours, sources said.
The escalating probe into Bollywood's drugs links started with actor Rhea Chakraborty's questioning, three months after Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai home on June 14. The investigation, involving multiple agencies, has captivated the nation, throwing up almost daily twists and wild speculation and campaigns on social media.
Sources in the Narcotics Control Bureau, whose mandate is to go after larger drug cartels and not individual consumers, have said the agency was summoning Bollywood A-listers to understand the network of supply through alleged consumers.
It must be noted that the actors have not been named as accused in any drugs probe case, and are only being questioned.
During her questioning before arrest on September 9, Rhea Chakraborty reportedly named stars, including Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh, in connection with drugs use. Her lawyer has denied this claim.
Sara Ali Khan was also Sushant Singh Rajput's co-star in the film "Kedarnath"; Sushant Rajput developed the drugs habit while shooting the film, according to Rhea Chakraborty's bail petition before the Bombay High Court.
The names of Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor were found in WhatsApp chats on the phone of Jaya Saha, Sushant Singh Rajput's talent manager and a top executive of talent firm Kwan.
Jaya Saha has also been questioned by the drug probe agency.
Sushant Singh's family through their Advocate Vikas Singh had aired their displeasure over the direction of the probe calling "the NCB probe too going in the same direction like Mumbai Police probe... calling big names for questioning just to get attention".