Drug scandal: Varun to be questioned later

HYDERABAD: Are investigators probing the drug rap involving actor Varun Sandesh playing it safe because of pressure from Tollywood?

Hours after announcing that the actor used to snort cocaine with Dr Siddharth and James Egems, the two men caught in the drug bust on Friday, the Hyderabad police on Saturday filed a petition in the Nampally Criminal Courts seeking permission to conduct a polygraph (lie detector) test on the suspects to see if they are telling the truth. A decision on grilling Sandesh will be taken when the result is out. The two men were arrested on the ring road at Attapur on Friday with 45 gm of cocaine.

Normally, when a suspect names a person, detectives question the latter irrespective of their stature, officers said. However in this case, sources told Express, they want to first confirm the claims of the accused.

On Friday, police had proclaimed that James Egems used to procure cocaine from Bangalore and snort it in Dr Siddharth’s house along with Varun Sandesh, U Ravi and Avinash, all Tollywood figures.

In fact, the accused disclosed that they were to deliver cocaine to Sandesh and others.

After police named Sandesh as having links with drug peddlers, some Tollywood figures alleged that the police were naming film personalities in such cases without any proof. Deputy commissioner of police (west zone) Stephen Ravindra then directed Langar Houz police to move the court seeking permission to conduct a polygraph test on Siddharth and James.

“It is a fact that Varun was named. But our higher-ups have directed us to take permission to conduct a polygraph test on the suspects,” inspector G Sridhar of Langar Houz said.

The court is expected to pass an order on the polygraph petition after hearing both sides in the next few days. If the go-ahead is given, the test will be done at the Andhra Pradesh State Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL).

Meanwhile, police have come to know that Siddharth became a drug addict when he was a student in Manipal and Bangalore. “Siddharth used to bring drugs to Hyderabad, and snort with his friends. He told us that Sandesh was one such friend,” police sources said.

Siddharth hails from a well-educated family. His father owns an educational institute while his mother is a professor at NG Ranga Agricultural University. Egems is a Nigerian living in India for the last several years. He is alleged to have peddled drugs in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Goa.

Police on Saturday produced the accused in court, which sent them to judicial remand.

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