As serious allegations of rampant drug abuse by young actors rocked the state film industry on Thursday, police and excise authorities have decided to adopt a wait-and-watch policy as there is no specific complaint in this regard. The sleuths can initiate suo motu case if there is a seizure of contraband items.
Excise department officers said they will launch a probe in this regard if a formal complaint is lodged. “In the case of allegations made by film producers on Thursday, we will check the authenticity. If the accusation is found correct, we will register a case and initiate further action,” said A S Ranjith, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Ernakulam.
Additional City Police Commissioner and DIG K P Philip also echoed the opinion, pointing out that there was no specific complaint. “Earlier also, persons associated with the film world had alleged widespread use of drugs at shooting sets. However, there was no specific input in this regard,” he added.
According to the officers, rumours are rife about the use of drugs among young actors. City police officers said they are maintaining intense vigil as drug abuse cases are going up in the city. Synthetic drugs like MDMA, hashish oil and cocaine are the most sought-after by persons in the film industry, said officials.
“Actors take drugs for a high as they think it would help them in improving their performance. Though police and excise have not conducted raids on movie shooting locations, many artists have landed in custody with drugs,” said an excise officer.
Twenty-five-year-old Midhun Nalini, an upcoming actor, and a Bengaluru-based cameraman were arrested from Fort Kochi in May this year after excise sleuths raided a homestay where the film crew were staying, following a tipoff. The young actor who was donning the role of the hero was arrested for allegedly taking narcotic substances at the movie set.
In another case, junior artist Antony from Fort Kochi was arrested from Technopark area at Kazhakoottam for allegedly smuggling LSD stamps and Nitravet tablets from Goa for weekend DJ parties. And a couple of months ago, Malayalam film and television actor Aswathy Babu was arrested from Thrikkakara for possessing and trying to sell MDMA.