As probe intensifies in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Bihar top cop Gupteshwar Pandey on Tuesday said “the matter has now turned political”.
“When the incident happened, we didn’t anticipate the ugly turns… the matter has now turned political,” Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey told NDTV.
Sushant Singh Rajput, whose last movie “Dil Bechara” released in July, was found dead at his home in Mumbai’s Bandra on June 14; Mumbai Police had said it was a suicide case.
Last month, the Bollywood actor’s family in Patna had filed a First Information Report or FIR that named his friend Rhea Chakraborty; she was accused of financially cheating the 34-year-old actor and driving him to suicide. This, even as the Mumbai Police were also conducting inquest proceedings and had recorded the family’s statement as a part of the probe.
A probe was also launched by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to look into the allegations of money-laundering.
As turf war continues between two states, Bihar argued in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that its case was the only one regarding the death of Sushant Rajput and Maharashtra has filed none in two months, despite questioning dozens of people.
Hours after the hearing in the top court, Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey told NDTV: “I am of the view that Bihar holds a jurisdiction (in the case)… there is a money trail involved. Sushant was not married, his father is now his heir (to take the case forward). While the matter is being discussed in the top court, I don’t want to comment further on this.”
The top court on Tuesday was hearing the appeal of Rhea Chakraborty, who wanted the case against her filed in Patna transferred to Mumbai. Critics have linked the investigation in Bihar to upcoming state polls. The Mumbai Police says that since the incident took place in Mumbai and the people named in the complaint are residents of Mumbai, only they have the jurisdiction in the case.
On controversy that broke out after Mumbai civic body quarantied IPS officer Vinay Tiwari last week, Mr Pandey said: “When an FIR (First Information Report) was filed (by Sushant’s family), the matter called for an investigation. A four-member team of our officers went to Mumbai to collect evidences for one week. Nobody in the Mumbai Police talked about the jurisdiction issue.”
“When IPS officer Vinay Kumar went there to fill the communication gaps, he was quarantined within hours; he was not told about jurisdiction issue… he had informed officers concerned before his visit,” the top cop said.
Answering a question about progress made by his team so far in the case, the top cop said: “We took statements from 10 people. We don’t have medico-legal evidence, FSL (forensic science laboratory) report or CCTV footage. Whatever evidence we have collected, we can reveal details only on the right platform.”
Recalling reaching out to Sushant’s father on June 14, he said: “I had called up Sushant’s father – KK Singh – the same day (on June 14 when he died) and conveyed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s condolences to him. Same day, I called up Mumbai Police commissioner, he didn’t answer. At that time, we didn’t know what developments may emerge in the case.”
Amid controversy about a probe by the central agencies – CBI and ED- Mr Pandey said: “Whatever be the consequences, it takes time to investigate some cases… It’s not just about the CBI. Any investigating agency in the world can’t predict the time of investigation.”
Last week, Maharashtra’s ruling party- Shiv Sena- had criticised the Nitish Kumar government over the case. The Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut today reiterated that the parallel probes are “a conspiracy against the Maharashtra Government”.
“Bihar government should not have interfered in the matter of Sushant Singh Rajput. Over the last few years, Sushant was a Mumbaikar. Mumbai gave him prosperity and Bihar didn’t stand by him during his struggle,” an article in Sena mouthpiece “Saamna” read on Sunday.