New Delhi: A day after he was detained on charges of consuming banned drugs at a rave party, Pune Warriors player Rahul Sharma pleaded innocence.
"I was told this was a birthday party, hence I went with my friend. When we reached there, it seemed like a normal party which I usually attend. The cops wanted to check us, and we allowed. We were then taken to the hospital, and they cleared us," Rahul said.
"I am sure my results won't be positive," he said. He also added that he is hearing about rave party for the first time."If tests are positive, I'll leave cricket," Rahul said.
"My family knows about me; I have worked hard, played cricket for my country, I will never do such a thing in my life, my father trusts me a lot. I have never even touched beer forget touching something like this," he said.
Rahul and his teammate Wayne Parnell were among about 100 people who were detained at the Oak Woods Hotel in Juhu on Sunday night; they were later released. More IPL players were allegedly present at the party, but had managed to leave before the police raided the hotel.
There were also reportedly a number of celebrity children, people connected to the film industry, including actor Apoorva Agnihotri, and foreigners among those detained. There is no confirmation yet on whether they did consume banned drugs, but police said they had seized about 110 grams of cocaine and drugs like Ecstasy from the party venue. Medical tests have been conducted on 52 men and 38 women at the Cooper Hospital. Reports are awaited and the police they would take action against those whose blood or urine samples showed traces of drugs.
The police have arrested a man, Vijay Vishesh Handa, who they said organised the party, under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He has been remanded to police custody till May 25. The cops said invitations for the party were sent out through social networking site Facebook. A message posted on the site said, "Support the party, not the drug", the police said, adding that they were trying to ascertain whether this was the way to inform people that there would be drugs at the party.
The two Pune IPL players are among those who have been tested. Rahul Sharma said after his release that he was at Oak Woods hotel but a different party. "I went for a birthday party at Oak Woods Hotel in Juhu. I had just reached there but nobody was present," he said. His mother defended him saying, "My son went for a birthday party. How would he know whether people are going to take drugs over there or there is going to be a police raid? My son is fine, there is no problem. He has done no wrong."
Actors Himanshi Choudhary and Apoorva Agnihotri were reportedly at the party and have been tested for drugs. Himanshi tweeted this morning, "Wasn't a Rave. It was just a party. All in hospital for blood test now." She also tweeted, "This wud not have been blown outta proportion. I heard the figures on drugs procured, seems bizarre. Will only know after da results of test."
Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nagre Patil of the Mumbai police said they were focused on finding out who the peddlers were. A complete investigation would reveal more, he said.