NEW DELHI, Sep 28: Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation said “all aspects are being looked at” in the Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, sources close to the agency said the needle of suspicion might be turning towards some family members of the deceased actor from his actress girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty who initially was questioned as the prime suspect.
Contrary to the claims of his close family friends, CBI sources also said the initial investigations had not provided much clue to the agency to conclude it as a case of murder. It was now progressing on the premise of possible suicide and was looking for abettors in the act who could have “forced or influenced” the actor to commit suicide.
The sources pointed out that Rhea Chakraborty had left Sushant’s house on June 8 after some heated exchanges and from June 9 his younger sister stayed with him in the house for the next five days and had left Mumbai a day before the actor’s body was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the bedroom of his suburban Bandra house in Mumbai on June 14.
The CBI is also believed to be in possession of bank records to negate the charges leveled by K K Singh, the father of the deceased, that Rhea Chakraborty had misappropriated Rs 15 crores from the actor’s account and that could be the prime cause for the murder. The bank statements had revealed that the said amount never existed in his accounts because the deal finalized with a producer for the amount did not materialize for various reasons till his death.
The CBI, it is learnt, has also retrieved some mobile messages from his sisters and the husband of one of his sisters, who is also an IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, advising him about the “medicines” he should take when in serious depression and “promising” that all his “dealings” would be kept top secret.
Facing adverse criticism from various quarters for maintaining silence for more than a month now over the progress in the investigation, the CBI in a statement only said it was probing the case from all aspect and that it was conducting a “professional investigation” and no aspect had been ruled out yet. The CBI had taken up Sushant’s death case investigation on August 19 at the direction of the Supreme Court.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation is conducting a professional investigation related to death of Shri Sushant Singh Rajput in which all aspects are being looked at and no aspect has been ruled out as of date,” CBI said in a statement.
The statement comes amid calls from various quarters demanding an update from the CBI on the progress made in the case after more than a month since taking over the investigation. The CBI had filed an FIR after taking over the probe from Bihar Police into the alleged abetment to suicide case filed by the actor’s father in Patna against Rhea Chakraborty and her family.
Last week, addressing a press conference, the actor’s family lawyer Vikas Singh, who had filed his father’s petition in the apex court demanding CBI probe into the case, said all attention was being diverted to drugs-related issues, with the Narcotics Control Bureau conducting “fashion parade” of Bollywood stars.
“Today, we are helpless as we don’t know which direction the case is going in. Normally a press briefing is done by CBI. But in this case, till today, CBI has not done a press briefing on what they have found out. This is a very serious issue,” he had said.
Singh had also taken to Twitter, saying he was getting “frustrated” by the delay in CBI taking a decision in the case. “Getting frustrated by the delay in CBI taking a decision to convert abetment to suicide to murder of SSR (Sushant Singh Rajput). The doctor who is part of AIIMS team had told me long back that the photos sent by me indicated 200 per cent that it’s death by strangulation and not suicide,” Singh had tweeted.
Even Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had taken a swipe at the CBI, stating that the issue of whether the actor’s death was suicide or murder remains unanswered so far by the premier investigation agency.
“The case was handed over to the CBI to investigate whether Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was suicide or murder. This remains unanswered so far. This issue is now on the backburner and we have something else that is now being discussed,” Deshmukh told media persons.
On Monday, the actor’s friends and relatives said they would observe a hunger strike from October 2 to demand justice in the matter since there have been no updates from CBI in the death case.
The CBI had called Rhea for questioning at the DRDO guesthouse in Santacruz for four days earlier this month. During this period, she was interrogated in the presence of her brother Showvik, Sushant’s friend Siddharth Pithani, and his cook, among others.
The CBI, however, did not arrest her or seek her custodial interrogation. On September 8, the NCB arrested Rhea for allegedly procuring drugs for Sushant and she has been remanded to judicial custody till October 6 along with his brother and some other accused. The NCB in the meanwhile has summoned several other top Bollywood actors and alleged members of drug networks for questioning in the same issue.