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Dubai relief for Mumbai scions

Mumbai, Oct. 29: Celebrations were muted, but the relief evident, at the DC Designs office here when news filtered in that car designer Dilip Chhabria’s son Bonny has been released.

Bonny, 22, and three others were caught on charges of “using and possessing” drugs from a Dubai hotel on October 21. All four were in custody until now.

Shaan Uttam Singh, film-maker Ramesh Sippy’s nephew, was also released today after police failed to find traces of any banned substance in his blood.

The fate of the two others arrested along with Shaan and Bonny — whose real name is Bonito — is uncertain. Abu Farhan, son of Samajwadi Party MP Abu Asim Azmi, and Prashant Dandekar, a 23-year-old automobile engineer with a degree from the US, have been detained. Further inquiries are likely to be conducted.

Dilip, in the news recently for being the first-ever Indian to design a car to be used in a James Bond movie, said Bonny will not head back here immediately. He will instead holiday in Europe for some time to avoid the media glare.

“I had always said that Bonny was innocent and that he would be released soon,’’ Chhabria said. He added that their entire family, which had never experienced anything like this, was relieved that the storm had blown over.

Bonny said it was his “bad luck’’ that he was caught up in the mess. He said he had “no idea’’ about the others arrested with him, adding that he was hazy about what occurred at the Imperial Palace Hotel, allegedly owned by underworld don Iqbal Mirchi.

Bonny was also unsure if those arrested had taken drugs or were merely carrying them.

Azmi, a Rajya Sabha MP from Azamgarh, said Farhan had nothing to do with the case. But he accepted that his son might have fallen into bad company and there may have been something “lacking in my parental guidance’’. The MP denied he was flying to Dubai to get his son released.

The Sippys made an official statement on the incident through Sippy Films for the first time today. They said Shaan had tested negative and would head straight back home.

With Mumbai’s well-known families sweating it out, protesting their scions’ innocence while trying to secure their release, the spotlight has fallen on the relatively unknown Prashant, who is fast emerging as the fall guy.

Azmi said it was Prashant in whose wallet the anti-drug cell of Dubai police had found “three grams of charas’’. “He is the one who had the drugs,’’ a Samajwadi leader added. “The others will be released one by one.”

As an afterthought, he said this of Farhan: “Bade baap ka beta hai aur galat sangat me tha, bas yehi gunah hai uska’’.

Prashant is the only one who did not have a lawyer fighting his case.

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