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Rahul Mahajan arrested for consuming drugs

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) Conspiracy theories took a backseat on day four of the Rahul Mahajan-Bibek Moitra saga as police arrested the son of the late high-profile BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan on charges of purchasing, possessing and consuming narcotic drugs.

The arrest capped another day of dramatic developments in the case with the police questioning Rahul for nearly two hours at Apollo Hospital where he was shifted from the Intensive Care Unit to a private ward; and the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) saying that a pouch of white powder found from him was heroin.

''We arrested him on the basis of the totality of evidence that we have collected against him,'' Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Manish Agarwal told reporters.

He said lab reports of his urine and blood samples as well as the statements of various people questioned in connection with the case were used to charge him under Sections 21, 25, 27 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Mr Agarwal said the police was seeking the opinion of doctors to get him discharged and take him into police custody for further questioning.

The Act stipulates a minimum of six month's imprisonment, but the police have charged him under sections dealing with possession of a small amount of narcotic substance for personal consumption, which was bailable.

Police was also pressing charges of destruction of evidence against domestic servants at Mr Mahajan's 7 Safdarjang Residence where the scene of crime was 'disturbed' by the time police arrived early on June 2.

Rahul's arrest looked imminent earlier in the day itself when a police team arrived at the Apollo Hospital to question him. By that time the CFSL had reported that the white powdery substance Rahul and Mahajan's private secretary Moitra allegedly snorted on Thursday night was heroin.

Witnesses as well as the report of a private laboratory reinforced the view that drugs were used at the champagne party at Mahajan's residence late on June one.

Even as a police team questioned Rahul in the hospital, three Nigerian nationals, arrested for allegedly supplying drugs to the party, were remanded in police custody fortendays .

Asked if police would also make Rahul an accused in the case, registered under the NDPS Act, Investigating Officer S Singh told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate A K Chaturvedi that it was ''possible''.

Police, which had taken away medical records of the case on Sunday, also questioned Apollo Director Anupam Sibal, hospital spokesman Karan Thakur said.

The police was examining why the hospital delayed informing it about Moitra's death and Rahul's condition on Friday. While the two were taken to hospital at around 0300 hrs, police was informed two hours later.

''We are cooperating with the police investigations,'' the Apollo spokesman said today.

Police had handed over a pouch containing a white powdery substance found from the crime scene to the CFSL on Friday, soon after Moitra died and Rahul was admitted to hospital in a serious condition.

The CFSL was, however, yet to give its report on the fluids found in their stomach that day. Rahul had tested negative for drugs and showed low level of alcohol in urine and blood tests carried out at Apollo Hospital. A toxic screen done at Dr Lal's Path Labs, however, showed cocaine, opiate, cannabinoid and barbiturate traces in his urine sample.

Police was also questioning four young men present alongwith them on Thursday night. A city court had yesterday sent one of them, Sahil Zaroo, to police custody till June 12.

UNI IP/VN MA PM2105

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