Drugs case: NCB officers harassed me for a false statement, says Ex-Dharma Productions staffer Kshitij Prasad
Ex-Dharma Productions staffer Kshitij Prasad reveals before magistrate that agency threatened to frame him
A day after the NCB arrested former Dharma Productions employee Kshitij Prasad, he told the magistrate court that the cops harassed and blackmailed him to get a false statement and also treated him badly. After recording his statement, the court sent him to NCB custody till October 3.
Denying the charges against him, Prasad told the media outside the NCB office, "I am being framed." He was arrested on Saturday for his alleged links with the Bollywood drug cartel. According to the NCB, he had links with many drug peddlers and his custodial interrogation was important to unearth the nexus. The agency further said that he had close links with peddler Ankush Arneja, who has been arrested. Arneja also runs a high-profile kitchen in South Mumbai.
'He was treated badly'
Advocate Satish Maneshinde said that the NCB cops tortured Prasad and forced him to take names of top celebrities. "Before the proceedings started, I informed the magistrate that Prasad was harassed and blackmailed for the statement. He was also given third-degree torture and treated badly," added Maneshinde.
He further said, "Considering the remand application and Prasad's statement, it's obvious that the NCB is hell-bent on falsely implicating Karan Johar and some top employees of Dharma Productions."
Prasad in his detailed statement to the magistrate also said, "I was categorically told by zonal director of NCB, Sameer Wankhede in the presence of several other officers that since I 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. I refused to comply with this, as I don't know any of them personally. Irked by my refusal, 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 then held up his shoe to my face and said that this was my worth."
Karan Johar had earlier distanced himself from Prasad and even Anubhav Chopra, who was questioned by the NCB. Karan in his statement on social media had said that he didn't know these men personally and that neither him nor Dharma Productions could be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives.
Prasad in his statement also said, "I received a call from an NCB officer called Singh on September 24 when I was in Delhi. He informed me that they wanted to search my house, which they had already sealed. I returned to Mumbai the next day and the NCB team checked my house around 9 am. They found nothing apart from a dry cigarette butt in the balcony. However, they insisted that it was a ganja joint even though there was nothing to suggest the same. They even prepared a panchnama to that effect despite me protesting against it. Upon my wife's request, the line 'believed to be a ganja joint' was later inserted in the panchnama."
Keep scrolling to read more news
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and a complete guide from food to things to do and events across Mumbai. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.
Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe