Thursday 29 October 2020

Sushant Singh Rajput’s help arrested, but drug may not be the main story

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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s domestic help Dipesh Sawant today in the course of the widening investigation into allegations of drug abuse surrounding the movie star’s death in June. The NCB arrested Sawant, earlier believed to be a witness in the case, after questioning him since the morning. With this, the total number of people arrested in this case has risen to eight.

Yesterday, the anti-contraband agency had arrested Showik Chakraborty, the brother of Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, and Samuel Miranda, the actor’s house manager, under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The NCB, however, found no drugs on the 24-year-old Chakraborty. The agency’s case hinges on the discovery of 59 g of curated marijuana from two men identified as Abbas Lakhani and Karan Arora. They allegedly had links with those close to Sushant Singh Rajput.

In its application seeking the custody of Showik Chakraborty, the NCB said he had “given so many names with whom he was dealing in drugs”. It said the agency would make him confront his sister Rhea Chakraborty.

The NCB will call Rhea for another round of questioning tomorrow.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the NCB are probing different aspects of the case of the mysterious death of Sushant Singh Rajput, 34.

Under intense media glare for nearly three months that spiked after Sushant Singh’s father accused Rhea Chakraborty of driving him to suicide, the only arrests in the case so far have come from the angle of drugs possession whereas either the media is not interested in the money-laundering angle or the ED is not divulging as much as the NCB is.

In early August, Sirf News, based on the information received until then, had in an article suspected that the late actor had run into a Dubai-centred mafia for which he had been eliminated.

The NCB, which usually probes drug cases involving several kilos of contraband, admitted that the arrests over such small amounts of marijuana were rare. “The Narcotics Control Bureau is the uppermost agency for enforcement of anti-drug laws. We look at international connections and intra-state connections. Normally, this is not part of our mandate, but now that we are getting information, we cannot shirk our responsibility,” Deputy Director-General of NCB Mutha Ashok Jain said.

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