MUMBAI: In a shocking revelation, former Dharmatic Entertainment employee Kshitij Prasad, arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the alleged drugs case alleged he was "forced to falsely implicate" Karan Johar and others in the case.
According to NDTV, Prasad's lawyer Satish Maneshinde told a Mumbai court on Sunday that he was "forced to falsely implicate" filmmaker Karan Johar and other top executives.
"NCB officers said they would let me off if I implicated either Karan Johar, Somel Mishra, Rakhi, Apoorva, Neeraj or Rahil," the lawyer quoted him as saying in the court. The investigating officers "asked me to falsely allege that they consumed drugs," he said. "I refused to comply with this despite the pressure being mounted on me as I did not know any of these people personally... and I did not wish to falsely implicate anyone," Mr Prasad was quoted as saying, as reported by NDTV.
Maneshinde also said that one of the investigating officers Sameer Wankhede has also been named. "Sameer Wankhede told him (Kshitij Prasad) that since he did not want to cooperate, he would teach him a lesson and made him sit on the floor next to his chair. Sameer Wankhede then put the shoe of his foot near Kshitij's face and proclaimed that this was his true aukad (status)," the lawyer told the court, as quoted by the channel.
He added that the other officers "laughed at this plight".
The incident "severely traumatised Kshitij, who had never been in this kind of situation before. After over 48 hours in such custody, he was extremely fatigued and shaken. He requested to speak with Sameer Wankhede alone and enquired if he had offended him," Maneshinde told the court.
Prasad was arrested by the NCB on Saturday after questioning. He has been remanded in NCB custody until October 3.
Manwhile, Karan Johar in a statement on Friday said Prasad had joined Dharmatic Entertainment, sister concern of Dharma Productions, in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on a contract basis for a project, which eventually did not materialise.
"He was briefly associated with us for only two months inthe capacity of 2nd assistant director for a film, between November 2011 and January 2012 and as assistant director for the short film in January 2013. He has thereafter never been associated with Dharma Productions for any other project," Johar said.
The NCB on Saturday recorded statements of actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan in the drugs probe linked to Rajput's death and an alleged Bollywood-drugs nexus.