An IPS officer from Bihar, who had landed in Mumbai on Sunday for leading the SIT investigating in the case, was, meanwhile, quarantined under the COVID-19 regulations in force in the city, a development Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called “inappropriate and forcible”.
The issue resonated in the two Houses of Bihar legislature, with lawmakers across the political divide demanding a CBI investigation into the death of the 34-year- old Patna-born actor.
Both Mumbai and Patna police are probing the case.
Rajput, who impressed his audience with his performances during his short but promising career, was found hanging in his rented apartment in Mumbai’s Bandra on June 14.
“It was found that the actor had bipolar disorder, and was undergoing treatment and taking medicines for it. What circumstances led to his death is the subject of our investigation,” Mumbai police commissioner Singh told a press conference.
Singh also said no politician’s name has come up during the investigation by Mumbai police.
There is no question of non-cooperation with the Bihar police team which is in the city in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Singh said, adding Mumbai police are seeking legal opinion on the matter.
Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey had claimed that Vinay Tiwari, the IPS officer from Patna, who is in Mumbai to probe the case after Rajput’s father lodged an FIR, has been “forcibly quarantined” by civic authorities in the metropolis.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday voiced strong disapproval of the “forcible” quarantine of the officer.
“Whatever has been done to him is inappropriate,” Kumar told journalists in Patna.
Patna police has registered a case of abetment to suicide against actor Rhea Chakraborty, who was in a relationship with Rajput, on the basis of a complaint lodged by his father K K Singh.
Kumar also said the matter has been taken up with the authorities in Maharashtra by DGP Gupteshwar Pandey.
“He (Pandey) will himself speak to the authorities concerned,” Kumar said.
When asked about whether he would himself have a word with his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray, the Bihar chief minister said, “It is not a political matter. The issue at hand is a legal obligation of the Bihar police. We will make all possible efforts to fulfil the same.”
He, however, ducked queries about recommending a CBI inquiry into the matter, the demand for which has been raised by at least two of the deceased actor’s sisters.
Meanwhile, political lines got blurred as the bicameral Bihar legislature demanded a CBI inquiry into Rajput’s death.
The demand was first raised by Neeraj Kumar Singh Bablu, a BJP MLA and the deceased stars cousin, when members were allowed to speak on the subject by Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary after the passage of 12 bills by the House, which assembled for a truncated, day-long monsoon session.
Turning towards Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bablu requested the state government to hand over the probe to the CBI.
“It is evident that the Maharashtra government is trying to put hurdles in the way of Bihar police, preventing it from investigating the matter properly, he alleged.
Bablu’s wife Nutan Singh, a BJP MLC, also raised the issue in the legislative council.
The BJP MLA underscored the “forcible quarantine” of an IPS officer from Patna, hours after he landed in Mumbai on Sunday, to buttress his point.
The demand for handing over the matter to the central agency was seconded by leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav, who asserted, RJD was the first party to have made such a demand. I had written a letter to the CBI shortly after Rajputs death and also requested that the upcoming film city in Rajgir be named after the deceased actor.
Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, who is also a former Speaker of the House, suggested that a resolution be passed in support of the demand for a CBI inquiry into the actors death.
Raju Tiwari, an MLA of Ram Vilas Paswans LJP, and Awadhesh Kumar Singh of the Congress were among others who rose to speak in favor of a CBI inquiry.
Mumbai police commissioner Singh said after registering an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the case, the investigation is in progress and till now statements of 56 people have been recorded.
The statements of Sushant’s sisters have also been recorded, he said.
Sushant was upset after he was linked with the death of his former manager Disha Salian on June 8, he said.
“No politician’s name came up during the probe so far. There is no evidence against any politician from any party,” Singh said, referring to a query on the name of a prominent young Maharashtra politician being mentioned on social media.
“The FIR by Bihar police says Rs 15 crore were siphoned off from Sushant’s account. During the probe, we found he had Rs 18 crore in his account of which around Rs 4.5 crore are still there,” he said.
There is no confirmation yet of a direct transfer to the account of Rhea Chakraborty, he added.
Police consulted forensic experts and doctors during the investigation, he said.
“We obtained CCTV footage of June 13 and 14 of his house but we did not get any evidence about any party being held there,” he said.
“The statements of Sushant’s father, sister and brother-in-law were recorded on June 16. At that time, they neither raised any suspicion nor complained about any lapse in our probe,” he said.
All angles are being investigated, be it professional rivalry, financial transactions or health reasons that could have led to the actors’s death, he said.