In what is being seen as an embarrassing turn of events in the Sandalwood drugs scandal, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Hyderabad, on Friday reportedly returned the hair samples collected from three accused persons, including two Kannada actresses -- Sanjjanna Galrani and Ragini Dwivedi.
According to sources, the hair follicle samples were returned as they were not received in a proper manner.
"Follicle samples are sent in a proper pack. They also need to be taken from a particular part of the scalp. The Karnataka FSL might have erred here. It is a technical error and not intentional," a source told reporters.
However, as soon as the news broke out, speculation started doing the rounds that a section of senior bureaucrats, who are "close" to both the actresses, were influencing the probe in order to free them as soon as possible.
From day one of Dwivedi's arrest, such rumours were doing the rounds, and they gained even more impetus with the subsequent arrest of Galrani.
However, the Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Bengaluru City Police, Sandeep Patil, was quick to scotch these rumours, stating that the city police had indeed received such a message from the CFSL.
"Regarding some news that a hair sample is returned, it is only a small technical problem which has been resolved. Rest of the blood and urine samples are already with the CFSL," he said.
He further added that this is the first time that hair follicle samples were collected and a test is being done to get additional evidence.
Asserting that their investigations are on the "right track", Patil said that they already have evidence in the form of technical data, eye witnesses, mobile phone analysis and seizures of various materials.
"The hair follicle sample is only additional evidence, and our case does not stand only on it alone," he claimed.