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Diganth ‘deleted’ African drug peddlers’ messages, claims CCB

Kannada actor DiganthManchale was questioned for the second time in the Sandalwood drugs scandal on Wednesday after CCB sleuths purportedly found he had deleted a few messages that he had exchanged with suspected African drug peddlers.

Diganth, who was questioned for the first time along with wife Aindrita Ray on September 16, was summoned again by phone on Wednesday. He appeared before CCB officers around 11.20 am and was grilled for the next three hours.

The drugs saga is getting murkier. The CCB has already arrested Kannada actresses RaginiDwivedi, Sanjjanaa Galrani, party organiser Viren Khanna and a few others in the case.

CCB sources said Diganth was questioned about various people and his connection with them. The CCB retrieved his text messages and discovered that he had allegedly deleted a few messages, including those he exchanged with suspected African drug peddlers. The CCB had seized the phones of both Diganth and Aindrita during the first questioning.

An officer who’s part of the investigation said questions that Diganth hadn’t answered the last time were posed to him again. He was also questioned in the light of new information and has been asked to come again if summoned, the officer added.

Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said a field inquiry was done on the basis of what Diganth had told them previously. “We also questioned a few people and called Diganth for questioning again,” he added.

Diganth has been asked not to leave Bengaluru and to inform the CCB if he’s going on a personal trip, other than his shooting commitments.

During the questioning, Diganth is said to have protested his innocence, saying he merely attended some parties because of his celebrity status. Speaking to reporters after the questioning, he said he had answered all the questions asked by the officers.

Addressing reporters outside the CCB office, Diganth said: “Today also, I answered their questions and this time, police returned my mobile. I’ve been told that a lot of news was aired regarding the questioning. My smile is my answer to those airing false news. Since I have been directed by cops not to speak to reporters on the drug scandal, I can’t reveal anything more. But I can assure you that most of the news aired relating to the scandal will turn into false news.”

He said what Kannada news channels were airing about him was not true. “Since the investigation is still going on, I was asked not to disclose anything. I will appear for questioning again if summoned,” he added.

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