Sushant Singh Rajput | Twitter
Sushant Singh Rajput | Twitter
Text Size:

About six weeks on, the mystery surrounding the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput has slowly turned into a potboiler. After being initially called a suicide, the incident is now looked at as a possible case of murder. Rajput’s death on 14 June brought out Bollywood personalities discussing mental health and depression; the film industry and Indian public denouncing nepotism; actors engaging in mudslinging; two states clashing on the matter of jurisdiction over the probe; politicians such as Subramanian Swamy demanding a CBI investigation and offering 26 reasons why he ‘thinks’ “Rajput was murdered”. 

Then came the accusation by the 34-year-old actor’s family against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty of cheating and mentally harassing him. The Enforcement Directorate also joined in with a money laundering case to look into “suspicious transactions” amounting to Rs 15 crore. 

In the latest development, Rajput’s former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande claimed in a TV interview that the actor couldn’t have taken his own life because he believed suicide to be a “terrible thing”. 

For these reasons, the drama surrounding Sushant Singh Rajput’s death investigation is ThePrint’s Newsmaker of the Week.


Also read: It’s a dirty picture — that’s what Sushant Singh Rajput’s death reminds us about Bollywood


Rhea Chakraborty’s trial by public

Over the past week, the media, politicians, actors as well as ordinary people have trained their guns at Rhea Chakraborty, said to be Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend at the time of his death, after the Dil Bechara actor’s father filed an FIR against her. Chakraborty faces a public trial even as the case is under investigation by police forces in Bihar and Maharashtra.

Rajput’s father, K.K. Singh, has filed a case under various sections, including abetment to suicide, alleging that Chakraborty and her family members financially cheated and mentally harassed Rajput.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

The Enforcement Directorate too has swooped in on the back of Patna Police’s FIR to investigate alleged mishandling of Rajput’s finances and bank accounts and probe if any money was laundered.

Television channels went to town with headlines of the new twist in the case, reading out all accusations against Chakraborty one by one, talking about how Rs 15 crore disappeared from Rajput’s bank account, how she and her family blackmailed the actor in a well laid out conspiracy.

Actor Kangana Ranaut’s social media team called Chakraborty a “gold digger,” while a Janta Dal (United) minister labelled her a “contract killer.”

Chakraborty, meanwhile, is playing her part of a grief-stricken, testy-eyed girlfriend, requesting Union Home Minister Amit Shah for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). She has slammed the allegations by Rajput’s family as “entirely false and concocted with ulterior motive” and has petitioned the Supreme Court to transfer the investigation being carried out by the police in Patna to Mumbai. She has also complained of receiving murder and rape threats online.


Also read: Aaj Tak, Zee News crossed all lines covering Sushant death, but went ‘silent’ on 20 soldiers


Police versus police 

Among investigating agencies too, the recent developments suggest that everyone wants a share of the limelight.

Even as demands for a CBI probe are getting louder, the police forces in Patna and Mumbai are busy clashing with each other.

A Patna Police team was recently in Mumbai for its own investigation into the case after Rajput’s family filed the FIR. This is even as the Mumbai Police has already questioned more than 40 people from the film industry regarding Rajput’s death. These include Mahesh Bhatt, Rajeev Madame, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Aditya Chopra among others.

Maharashtra’s minister of state for home Shambhuraj Desai took offence to the Patna Police team visiting Mumbai for its probe, saying it did not follow protocols. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has ruled out handing over the case to the CBI, saying there is “no question” about it.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy, who is among those pushing for a CBI probe, took to Twitter soon after Deshmukh rejected calls for a CBI probe. Swamy contends that Rajput’s death wasn’t a suicide but a possible murder, while sharing an evidence list on Twitter.


Also read: Bollywood’s nepotism didn’t start with Karan Johar. But it must end with Sushant Singh Rajput


Film industry playing its part in the potboiler 

Immediately after Rajput’s death, the entire film industry poured in condolences and tributes to the actor, known for his work in films such as Chhichhore, Kai Po Che, and Ms Dhoni – The Untold Story.

However, within days, the incident triggered a ferocious debate on nepotism within the Hindi film industry and the struggles of an  ‘outsider’ trying to make it big in Bollywood. Actor Kangana Ranaut gave multiple video interviews to allege that a “movie mafia” was responsible for harming Rajput’s career. However, she soon started attacking other actors such as Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker, calling them “B grade”.

With every day, there’s a new agency, a new politician and a new actor jumping into the drama surrounding the investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, while the news and entertainment media as well as people on social media conduct their own trial.

In the melee, what seems to be lost is the much-needed conversation on clinical depression and mental health issues.

Views are personal.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

5 Comments Share Your Views

5 COMMENTS

  1. If an ambulance goes to cooper hospital with a half-dead body with foul play or murder it is deemed suicide. Standard operating procedure in the manuals of the hospital. And for Bombay police all they need is 2 minutes to declare it to be case of suicide. Standard Operating Procedure for criminal cases. Wow we call that gold standard and compare with Scotland Yard. What have we become? I don’t have any word for it other than profanity.

  2. Just the way you are allowed to have an opinion on this issue. Everyone has an opinion and the right questions are being asked. Finally people are standing up to bullshit! if you have nothing constructive, please shut up and step aside. irresponsible journalism!

  3. How conveniently the writer has ignored touching upon the suspicious circumstances under which Shushant died. Absolutely no mention of that. The fact that it’s over a month and Mumbai Police didn’t lodge aany FIR , despite being given S.O.S in february is astonishing. How royally the writer has ignored so many unanswered questions. I guess this is how world works. People are flawed , baised and write what they want to write, see what they want to write, not necessarily what the truth is.

  4. The author forgets to take note of the situation of a trend being set by Mumbai Police in not cooperating Bihar police at all thereby leaving the issue open for a just reciprocation. Imagine a criminal from Mumbai getting shelter in Bihar and the fate of the Mumbai police investigation team there in Bihar to get reciprocated in a similar manner . In fact it is a good news for the criminals to thrive in animosity between the state polices .
    Conversation on clinical depression and mental health issues of Sushant case will remain a lost case for ever.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here