The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I didn’t get drugs, claims fourth guest
Rich kid with movie dream

Srinagar/Mumbai, June 3: Sahil Ahmad Zaroo, the fourth guest at Rahul Mahajan’s party on Thursday night, has denied he had brought the drugs that were believed to be behind Rahul’s illness and the death of his father Pramod’s secretary Bibek Moitra.

The 21-year-old son of a wealthy Srinagar carpet merchant, arrested in Srinagar today, said the “white powder” was already with Rahul when he reached the house.

“When I entered Rahul’s room there was some white powder on the table. I also tasted a little of it and immediately fell unconscious,” he told The Telegraph at the office of a TV channel from where he was taken into custody.

“Trish (Trishay) took me out (of the place). I came to Srinagar on Friday on a Jet Airways flight in keeping with my schedule. I wasn’t the supplier of the drugs that caused the tragedy.”

The three other boys with him ' Trishay, Karan and Rahul ' told police that it was Sahil who bought the “white powder” from a dealer in Vasant Vihar for Rs 15,000 after Bibek asked him to get some cocaine.

Bibek, they said, had given Sahil the money, and Karan had accompanied him when he went out to buy the stuff.

But Sahil, who sat his graduation exams from Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College this year, said this version was “wrong and false” and that he was a victim of an “accident”.

“I was present at the wrong place at the wrong time. I did not directly know Rahul Mahajan, but I knew his secretary Bibek,” he said sitting beside his lawyer Aslam Goni.

“There was no conspiracy'. I was also in a bad condition and was puking all day and even didn’t know who was driving me where.

“You just go to meet someone and an accident happens. I will fully cooperate with the investigation as I have nothing to hide.”

Sahil seemed anxious after he was told that the post-mortem on Moitra had found traces of poison but no narcotics.

“What are they (the doctors) trying to say' That I am the one who has poisoned him'” he said.

From the TV channel’s office, the young man was taken to the office of the district police chief. He would be handed over tomorrow to a Delhi police team, which arrived in Srinagar today.

Sahil’s family lives in the upscale Nageen locality of Srinagar. His father Gulam Hassan Zaroo has a carpet shop in Mumbai’s Nariman Point.

The youth’s college mates in Mumbai said he was “confident and debonair”, always loaded with cash and generous to friends.

The manager of a posh pub in Juhu remembered him as a friendly young man who drank a lot.

“He was a friendly guy,” agreed a classmate. “But he used to hang around more with aspiring models and actors. He was very keen to join films.”

Sahil used to spend a lot of time in the posh Bandra suburb, home to many Bollywood people, the classmate said. He was also a regular at one of the hottest nightclubs of south Mumbai, Velocity. Bibek was a partner in the club.

A staff member of Velocity was said to be very close to Bibek. Police are looking into Bibek’s life outside the political sphere and his social contacts.

“We don’t know about Bibek, but yes, Sahil would often mention Velocity. He loved being seen in places that had a glam quotient,” the classmate said.

The college authorities refused to speak to journalists.

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