The controversy around Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide refuses to die down even though one month has passed since India woke up to the shocking news of the demise of the 34-year-old star.
After a series of sensational allegations as well as mudslinging by actors, directors and production houses over the alleged nepotism in the industry, the case has taken yet another dramatic turn with the late actor's father filing a criminal case against Sushant's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborthy.
The father has accused Rhea Chakraborty and six others of allegedly extorting money from his son and triggering him to commit suicide. Moreover, with a number of influential political figures wading into the row over Sushant's death, combined with the sensation kicked off by paranormal expert Steve Huff, who claimed to have spoken to Sushant's spirit repeatedly and YouTuber PewDiePie reacting to his death, updates on the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case continue to create a big buzz.
The noose seems to be tightening on Rhea as the economic intelligence agency, Enforcement Directorate, has asked for a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) from the Bihar Police filed by the father of the deceased. The agency has taken note of the huge amount of Rs. 170 million ($ 2.2 million) and Rs. 150 million ($2 million) that the father alleges were transferred from Sushant’s account to that of Rhea.
The family of the actor has levelled serious allegations against Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty. The two were reportedly business partners in three firms with Sushant. The five-page complaint obtained by Sputnik alleged that Rhea exploited Suhant financially and used his debit and credit cards. She is also accused of overdosing Sushant with medicines.
“I tried many times to reach out to my son and talk to him but Rhea and her associates and family members did not allow me to talk to my son,” read the complaint.
Sushant’s lawyer Vikas Singh also alleged that “somebody in Mumbai police was helping Rhea”. He questioned why Rhea is seeking a stay on the investigation through the country's highest court when she herself had asked for a CBI inquiry into the case.
Meanwhile, girlfriend Rhea has requested the Supreme Court to transfer the case filed in Bihar to Mumbai so that she does not have to travel back and forth between the cities. However, Sushant’s father on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to hear him out before taking up Rhea’s petition to transfer the case.
Earlier, hours after Sushant's body was found hanging from the ceiling of his Mumbai residence, Mumbai police launched an investigation into the incident. The prompt police action was a result of immense pressure, after several of his peers blamed his death on the raging nepotism in the industry.
Actress Rhea was the first person to be questioned by the police in the case, due to her close association with the actor. So far, Mumbai police have questioned more than 50 people in this connection, including filmmakers, production houses' bosses, doctors and the actor's co-stars.
Family members and actors close to Sushant had gone to the extent of demanding an independent investigation by the country's federal investigation department, the Central Bureau of Investigation. But the Supreme Court rejected the pleas on July 30.
"Let the police do its job," said Chief Justice SA Bobde, and asked the petitioner to approach the Bombay High Court with “concert” proofs.
Apart from fans who continue to campaign for #JusticeforSSR, the actor's shocking and untimely demise has brought together celebrities, uniting them in a campaign against nepotism and favouritism, which they allege undermine the aspirations of talented and deserving artists like Sushant.
Moreover, the case has also started attaining political hues, with former Union Cabinet Minister Subramanian Swamy constantly rallying for a stricter probe into the death. In his latest tweet on the matter, Swamy claimed that Sushant was murdered and shared a list which categorises various evidence and theories on murder and suicide.
Why I think Sushanth Singh Rajput was murdered pic.twitter.com/GROSgMYYwE— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) July 30, 2020
Mayawati, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has also has asked the case to be transferred to the CBI.
YouTuber PewDiePie apaid a tribute to Sushant with his video titled ‘Reacting to Sushant Singh Rajput’. He watched the video of Sushant giving his iconic speech at IIT Bombay and showed disbelief at the news of his suicide.
“As someone who loves to live in the moment, I cannot make sense out of committing suicide,” he said.