The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is making fast-paced progress in its endeavour to weed out all drugs and narcotics consumers, and their suppliers from Mumbai’s film industry, which for the past four months has come under heightened scrutiny from all quarters, subsequent to the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput’s former girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty too has been arrested by the NCB on similar charges and is currently under detention. That certainly does not mean that the NCB’s investigation is complete. In fact, if indications are anything to go by, celebrity director and producer Karan Johar is growing overly defensive, of late, perhaps to the prospect of him being summoned for questioning by the NCB.
The NCB has turned its eyes towards Karan Johar following a complaint filed by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President and Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sira, who has alleged that at a party hosted by Karan Johar in 2019, drugs and other narcotic substances were consumed by the attendees. Karan Johar’s name came up in the NCB investigations after Rakul Preet Singh named two of his alleged close aides during her questioning by the bureau’s officials. Karan Johar has denied knowing the two individuals, possibly connecting him to the NCB interrogation.
To his defence, Karan Johar issued a statement yesterday, denying all accusations of drugs being consumed in a party hosted by him last year, while also disassociating himself from the two individuals whose names have come up before the NCB as ‘close-aides’ of Johar. “I would like to further state that 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 don’t know these individuals personally and neither of these two individuals are ‘aides’ or ‘close aides’,” a part of his statement read.
Pinning the blame on all sections of media, Karan Johar called reports of drug consumption at his party last year ‘misleading’ and ‘wrong’, while also claiming that the current spotlight on him and his production house was part of a ‘malicious campaign’. “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…All these slanderous and malicious statements, news articles and news clippings have unnecessarily subjected me, my family and my colleagues and Dharma Productions, to hatred, contempt and ridicule,” the star-producer said.
The NCB is investigating an old video from Karan Johar’s party (in October 2019) where some believed that actor Vicky Kaushal, among others, had consumed drugs. In the video, some white content near Vicky Kaushal’s lap, his nose-rub gesture and Ayan Mukerji hiding something as the camera turns to him had all convinced netizens that drugs and illegal substances were involved in the party.
#UDTABollywood – Fiction Vs Reality
Watch how the high and mighty of Bollywood proudly flaunt their drugged state!!
— #Istandwithfarmers Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) July 30, 2019
Karan Johar, in his statement released yesterday, also issued a veiled threat to the media, cautioning them to exercise ‘restraint’, failing which he said, he would be resorting to ‘legal means’ in order to protect his rights. Mr. Johar also claimed that media reports had subjected him, his family and Dharma Production to contempt, hate and ridicule.
Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan are expected to be questioned by the NCB on Saturday in Mumbai. The former was a part of the viral video of the 2019 party hosted by Karan Johar. The NCB investigation is proving to be a big headache for Karan Johar, who had defended himself by questioning the speculators as to whether he would himself put up a video if there were drugs involved in the party under question. He had also said that what people assumed drugs, was in fact a reflection of light, and that Vicky Kaushal rubbed his nose because he was recovering from dengue.
Karan Johar, following nationwide uproar against the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and immense backlash against Bollywood’s insiders, had unfollowed many people on Twitter, including star celebrities and star kids. Close friends like Alia Bhatt and Twinkle Khanna were also unfollowed by the director.