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Sushant Singh Rajput: 4 questions keeping case alive

Of the three central agencies investigating the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the CBI's silence is the most deafening

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A year after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on 14 June 2020, a series of questions about the mysterious and abrupt end of his life remain unanswered. The case had led to allegations and counter-allegations between the families of the actor and his last live-in partner, Rhea Chakraborty, and subsequently degenerated into political warfare. First many social media users and then the BJP alleged foul play in the case, targeting the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), especially the state’s Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son, for ‘protecting’ Rajput’s ‘murderers’. Following are the four questions that continue to haunt those keenly following the case.

Who advised the filing of the FIR in the Sushant Singh Rajput case Patna?

The of Sushant Singh Rajput, KK Singh, had filed an FIR (First Information Report) against Chakraborty in his home town Patna in on 25 June 2020, accusing her of abetment to the suicide. He had alleged that Chakraborty had siphoned off Rs 15 crore from the actor’s bank account.

This FIR became the basis for the Supreme Court to transfer the investigation into the case to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) from the Mumbai Police on 5 August 2020.

It has emerged that a Maharashtra cadre IPS (Indian Police Service) officer, who has his origins in Bihar, had advised the well-wishers of Sushant Singh Rajput to file the FIR in Patna to keep the Mumbai Police out of the investigation. His act was an outcome of the rivalry among the senior officers of Mumbai Police. The CBI is yet to name the officer.

Why is the CBI keeping mum?

The agency had sent a team of three intelligence sleuths to uncover the truth behind Sushant’s death. The team camped in Mumbai for almost one month between August and September 2020. They interrogated the actor’s family, friends, and ex-girlfriend Rhea as well. The agency has not yet made public the result of its investigation. Nor has it acknowledged the finding of a team of doctors from AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in October 2020 that Sushant hanged himself.

The CBI is expected to submit its report to the Supreme Court. Interestingly, Subodh Jaiswal, who was the Director-General of Police in Maharashtra when the Sushant case had become a talking point across the country, now heads the CBI. If he validates the CBI’s investigation, it will be a certificate of efficiency for the Mumbai Police, who had from the beginning maintained that the Sushant case was one of death by suicide.

What happens to the case against Sushant’s sister Priyanka Singh?

Rhea Chakraborty had filed a case against Priyanka Singh, one of the sisters of Sushant Singh Rajput on 6 September 2020, for allegedly forging and fabricating a medical prescription for him. Priyanka had sent her brother a list of antidepressants on WhatsApp in April on the advice of Tarun Kumar, a doctor from Delhi. Rhea had alleged that these illegally prescribed medicines took a heavy toll on the mental health of Sushant Singh Rajput.

The Bombay High Court, on 11 February 2021, upheld the case against Priyanka. This has paved the way for the Mumbai Police to interrogate her. It is not sure what will come of it, though, as Priyanka’s husband Siddharth Tanwar is a senior lawyer.

Where is the drug syndicate?

Rhea’s admission on 5 September 2020, that she was procuring marijuana for Sushant Singh Rajput made the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) interrogate 33 people associated with him in any capacity. The agency had claimed that Bollywood had become a den of drugs, which had to be uprooted. It earned some brownie points when it questioned stars like Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Sara Ali Khan in late September last year. The NCB, however, has failed to catch any big fish. Its action was mainly focused on peddlers and small consumers. As of now, the NCB does not have any information on any big Bollywood celebrity allegedly involved in the drugs racket.

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