It's been a year since Sushant Singh Rajput's alleged suicide. On the morning of 14 June 2020, Sushant's body was found in his duplex flat in Bandra, Mumbai. The death of the 34-year-old talented young actor shocked everyone.
The Mumbai Police did not find any suicide note from Sushant's flat which is why the matter was initially viewed with suspicion. Given that it was a celebrity high profile case, it wasn't surprising that it caught the media's attention and almost immediately the media trials began. Questions started popping up on social media, was it suicide or murder? Soon after the case of Sushant Singh Rajput's death snowballed into the biggest issue in the country.
However, even after a year, Sushant's death remains a mystery. The country's biggest investigative agencies like CBI, ED, NCB are engaged in the investigation of this case. Every aspect related to Sushant's life was investigated. But till date the reason for Sushant's death remains a mystery.
The case has taken several dramatic turns in the last one year. So much so that even a fictional murder mystery would pale in front of it. Here are 8 questions related SSR's death that still remain unanswered.
1. There's Been No Serious Talk About SSR and Mental Health. Why?
After Sushant's death, the Mumbai Police had filed an ADR i.e. Accidental Death Report. Statements of Sushant's house-help and friends who were living with him were recorded. Sushant's family in their statements to the police had mentioned that the actor had been “feeling low” since 2013 and had sought psychiatric help. SSR's therapist Susan Walker in her statement to the Mumbai police said "His anxiety had increased a lot in 2013-14. When he was young, he had taken A***l medicine, twice every week to increase his concentration, as a treatment of ADHD."
The then Mumbai Police Commissioner, Parambir Singh, had stated that Sushant had done a Google search about 'bipolar disorder', 'schizophrenia' and 'painless death' and that he also used to take medicines for depression.
In all the various reasons being investigated for Sushant Singh Rajput's death - including drugs, money and nepotism - it's the condition of SSR's mental health that has been least discussed or investigated. Why?
2. Was the Nepotism Angle Just Sensationalism?
A few days after Sushant's death, actress Kangana Ranaut pushed the theory that the actor was a victim of nepotism in Bollywood. The Manikarnika actor made a lot of noise about nepotism via her own videos and by appearing on prime time debates on TV news channels. The Mumbai Police looked into the nepotism issue and even recorded statements of prominent filmmakers such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Mahesh Bhatt. However, the investigation proved futile.
It only led to Sushant's fans outraging online about the 'nepotism factor' and spewing hate against other Bollywood celebrities even though there was no evidence to link nepotism to the actor's untimely death. Why was the nepotism theory given undue coverage and a quick burial without questioning those who pushed the half-baked assumption?
3. What are the ED's Findings?
Sushant's father, KK Singh, lodged a complaint in Patna, Bihar, alleging that money was the cause of Sushant's death. He accused Sushant's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty of abetting Sushant to commit suicide after siphoning off Rs 15 crore from his account.
Rhea had reportedly opened a few companies with Sushant. There was an allegation of crores of rupees being transferred from Sushant's account to these companies. Reports came out that Sushant Singh Rajput spent more than Rs 4.5 crore spread across 10 months from January to November 2013.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials filed a money laundering case relating to SSR's death in July 2020. The team looked into the expenses incurred during the 25-day Europe tour taken by Rhea and Sushant as well as Rhea's Income Tax Returns from 2018 to 2020. The ED even confirmed that Rs 15 crore had been transferred from Sushant Singh's bank account, however there was no evidence of any direct, large transfer to Rhea Chakraborty’s accounts. The allegations of money laundering could reportedly not be proved from any of the transactions. The result of the findings by the ED remains unknown till date. Why?
4. SSR's Death and Drugs, What's the Connection?
After alleged financial irregularities, the drug angle became the focus of the investigations. Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Shouvik Chakraborty were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Rhea was bailed out after about a month and Showik too got bail after three months from the Special NDPS Court in Mumbai. Sushant's flatmate, Samuel Miranda, and chef Dipesh Sawant were also detained by the NCB for allegedly supplying and consuming drugs.
Sushant's close friend and producer Sandeep Singh was also dragged into the matter. After Sushant's death, Sandeep Singh's name was raised by some channels, following which the investigating agencies questioned him several times. But once again there was no evidence to the accusations.
Actually, about 30 people were questioned in this high profile case including producers, talent managers, PR mangers, actors such as Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Deepika Padukone. Recently, Siddharth Pithani, a close friend of Sushant, was arrested from Hyderabad. But even after a year, the NCB has not been able to join the dots between between drugs and SSR's death.
5. Why Was Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray Dragged In?
BJP MP Narayan Rane made sensational allegations in a press conference linking Sushant's death with Disha Salian's death. His target was clearly Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's son and minister Aaditya Thackeray.
Rane and his son, MLA Nitesh Rane, had alleged that Sushant was murdered due to political pressure. A night before Sushant's death, there was mention of the participation of these people in the party held at his house. The CCTV footage outside Sushant's house was also alleged to have gone missing.
But Aaditya denied all the allegations by issuing a statement. By calling these allegations politically motivated, he distanced himself from the case. The media continued to put Aaditya on trial for a while, however there was no evidence to back up their claims. Media channels who were gunning for Thackeray have now gone silent without any accountability. Was this clearly politically motivated?
6. Why Was there a Centre vs State Conflict?
After Sushant's death, the Mumbai Police, while registering the ADR, had termed it as a suicide prima facie. It was also revealed in the post-mortem and viscera report that Sushant had died of suffocation. But months later, Sushant's father lodged an FIR in Patna.
The Patna Police immediately became active in investigating the case and a team from Patna was dispatched to Mumbai. Due to the pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) quarantined the top IPS officer who was in the city from Patna to investigate the matter.
This led to a clash between the Central government and the Maharashtra government after a statement by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar regarding the case. Eventually, the matter reached the Supreme Court and the investigation into Sushant's death was handed over to the CBI. Top officials along with ministers in the Maharashtra government have several times publicly stated that there has been an attempt to defame the state government by giving a political colour to Sushant's case. What was the need for a centre vs state conflict over an actor's death?
7. What Happened to the CBI Investigation?
The CBI started the investigation in this case in August 2020. A four-member CBI team reached Mumbai. The CBI questioned Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant's friend Siddharth, house staff Neeraj Singh and Dipesh Sawant. The CBI team also reportedly did a dramatic recreation of the incident by visiting Sushant's house in September.
The central agency got a forensic team from AIIMs, Delhi to re-evaluate Sushant Singh Rajput's post-mortem and viscera reports. The report revealed that there were no injuries on Sushant's body and concluded that the actor died by suicide.
However, when BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy raised the question as to when the CBI will complete their investigation into Sushant's death, in response the CBI said that the investigation is being done in a professional manner using latest scientific techniques and no aspect can be ruled out as of now.
Speaking to The Quint former police officer YP Singh said, "You cannot compel any investigating agency to come to such conclusions which are not based on evidence and facts. I think CBI is investigating the case on merit, for which there should be appreciation. But the CBI will have to file a closure report in this matter soon."
Last week, The Quint asked the CBI about the current status of their investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput's death, but there has been no response from the agency.
8. Who's Behind the Fake Twitter Bots Created for 'Justice for SSR'?
In November 2020, the Mumbai Police claimed that around 1.5 lakh Twitter handles were activated from across the country and abroad in support of Sushant Singh Rajput and around 80 percent of these accounts were fake. The police claimed that the aim of these fake handles was to defame the Maharashtra government and the police for their investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
The report also said that many accounts were trying to disappear by deleting the negative posts, comments and tweets to evade the investigation process. The police claimed that a major percentage of the accounts were operating outside India in countries like China, Panama and Nepal. There still has been no conclusive investigation into who are behind these fake Twitter bots created to spread false information.
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