Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput passed away on June 14, 2020 in Mumbai. The death of the celebrated actor sent shock waves throughout the country.
Death Anniversary :-
|Date of death||14 June 2020|
|Place||At his flat on Hill Road Bandra, Mumbai|
|Cause||The cause of death was ruled to have been suicide|
Death of Sushant Singh Rajput
On 14 June 2020, Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead, hanging from the ceiling fan at his home in Bandra, Mumbai. Early investigations by the Mumbai Police concluded that he died by suicide. A preliminary post-mortem at Cooper Hospital confirmed the cause of death as asphyxia due to handing. The Mumbai Police launched an investigation into the death, which was the subject of widespread speculation and rumours.
The death cause is still being investigated by the CBI. The case was deeply investigated, first by the Mumbai Police and later by the CBI. While the matter is still under the CBI.
Investigation by Mumbai Police :-
The Mumbai Police commenced an investigation, stating that the death was being treated as a suicide. On 15 June, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh stated that the police would also probe the “professional rivalry” in the film industry as the cause of Rajput’s depression. The police revealed that Sushant was upset with being linked to the death of Disha Salian, his previous manager. Salian had died five days before him, and a case of accidental death was registered. She died after falling from the fourteenth floor of her building. On 3 August, police commissioner of Mumbai Param Bir Singh said there was no misappropriation of funds from Rajput’s bank accounts and no money had been transferred to Rhea Chakraborty’s account. Investigators had found no link between the deaths of Rajput and Salian.
In the initial round of investigation, many of Sushant Singh Rajput’s friends and colleagues were questioned by the police. These included Aditya Chopra, Mukesh Chhabra, Rhea Chakraborty, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajeev Masand, Mahesh Bhatt among many others.
Interrogation of three psychiatrist and one psychotherapist confirmed that Rajput had consulted them and was on medication prescribed by them. When asked about Sushant’s apparent depression, a senior Mumbai Police official had said “The family informed us that they do not know why Sushant was depressed and also did not mention if they had any suspicion on anyone”.
The police also revealed that Rajput had initially tried to hang himself with the belt of a bathrobe, but it could not sustain his weight. Following this, he used to green kurta. His clothes were strewn over the floor of his bedroom the police concluded that they had fallen out when he had pulled the kurta from his cupboard. Due to a discrepancy between his height and the distance between his bed and the ceiling fan, the police concluded that he had hanged himself in an inclined position. No sign of struggle was found.
K.K Singh took Action after Sushant’s death :-
After a month, On 25 July, Sushant’s father, K.K Singh, filed on FIR at Patna, where he lives, against Rhea Chakraborty and six others. He alleged in his complaint that, Rhea Chakraborty and her family of cheating financially and mentally harassing him, which ultimately forced Sushant to take the extreme step.
He said in the FIR, “My son was at the peak of his acting career fill May 2019. During that Period, Rhea and her relatives developed an acquaintance with my son under a deliberated conspiracy, so that Rhea could establish herself in the film industry and with an eye on Sushant’s wealth. He was later made to rent a house that was haunted and that had an impact on my son”.
FIR Against Rhea Chakraborty :-
The FIR was filed under IPC Sections 306, 341, 342, 380, 406 and 420.
- 306 : abetment of suicide
- 341 : wrongful restraint
- 342 : wrongful confinement
- 380 : theft in dwelling house
- 406 : criminal breach of trust
- 420 : cheating
After that, Rhea moved the supreme court for a stay an the investigation by Patna police and sought transfer of the probe to Mumbai. Later, KK Singh filed a caveat in the supreme court seeking permission to be heard before it passes any order.
K.K Singh alleged that Rhea had taken Rs 15 Crore from Sushant’s accounts and was also responsible for giving him the wrong medicine.
Rhea Chakraborty appeared before ED over allegations of financial irregularities. Rhea, her brother Showik and father Indrajit Chakraborty were questioned repeatedly by the agency but they did not find any big transfers made from Sushant’s accounts to Chakraborty family.
Public Reaction :-
Request for CBI probe
In July 2020, Many of Sushant’s fans, friends and well-wishers started online requests for CBI to get involved with the case. Rajput’s fans demanded an inquiry on various social platforms. Several political leaders, mostly from Bihar also demanded for a CBI investigation into the case.
At the time, Rhea Chakraborty had shared on Instagram, “Respected @Amit Shah Sir, I’m Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty. It is now over a month since his sudden demise. I have complete faith in the government, however in the interest of justice, I request you with folded hands to initiate a CBI enquiry into this matter. I only want to understand what pressures prompted Sushant to take this step. Yours Sincerely , Rhea Chakraborty. #Satyamevajayate @AmitShah sir.”
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh questioned the necessity of a CBI probe into the death. “The Mumbai Police is competent enough to handle such cases”, he said on 17 July. Meanwhile, Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister Shweta Singh Kirti had also started participating in online chatter to push for an investigation by the CBI.
On 22 July, the Twitter hashtag #Candle4SSR trended with two million tweets from Rajput’s fans around the world, as a part of their online campaigns demanding a CBI investigation since actor’s death. On 29 July, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh reiterated that the investigation would not be transferred to the CBI
On 5 August, however, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, told the Supreme court that the executive branch of Indian’s national government had accepted the recommendation by Bihar’s State government for a CBI inquiry into Rajput’s death. On the basis, officials said, CBI had decided to start the probe. On 8 August, the Maharashtra government told the Supreme court that the CBI had shown “indecent haste” and should not have registered the case while proceedings were still pending before the court.
The supreme court directed the CBI to investigate Sushant’s death case and asked the state to assist with the probe. Justice, Hrishikesh Roy said, “When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail in the living alone but after life’s filful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate.”
Sushant’s family members, fans and friends expressed their relief on social media as they had been pushing for a CBI enquiry into the case. Sushant’s sister Shweta Shared on Twitter- ” The whole world has relentlessly fought for CBI enquiry and now it is the responsibility of CBI to uphold our trust in them, we have full faith that CBI will most definitely bring the truth out and justice will be served”. CBI questioned Rhea and her family members. The NCB was also alerted after chats linking Rhea and her brother to a drug supplier were discovered. This also launched NCB’s investigation into Bollywood’s alleged ‘drug network’.
Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest –
In September 2020, Rhea was arrested on charges of procuring drugs for Sushant. In its remand application to a magistrate court, the NCB said, “It is also clear that Rhea used to procure drugs for Rajput for consumption purposes. Rhea used to manage finances for drug procurement along with Rajput. As per disclosures made by Rhea, she was arrested”. After that, her brother Showik was also arrested.
- On 6 August, the Centre Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indian national government’s top investigating agency, re-registered the Patna Police FIR accusing Chakraborty and others of wrong doing, thus taking over the case.
- On 19 August, the Supreme court allowed the CBI to take control of the investigation and ordered the CBI to look into any future cases registered in relation to Rajput’s death.
- On 21 August, Sudhir Gupta, head of the Department of forensic Medicine at All India Institute of medical sciences, New Delhi (AIIMS) and leader of a forensic medical team tasked by CBI for assistance, told the Press Trust of India. He will took into the possibility of murder. However, all probable angles will be throughly examined.
- Gupta told Asian News International (ANI); “We will also examine other trace evidence preserved at the time of autopsy to differentiate between hanging and murder allegations.
- On 26 August, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), India’s national drug law enforcement agency, registered an FIR against Rhea, her brother Showik and three others.
- The ED had requested the NCB to join the investigation after its financial probe found that drugs were supplied to Rhea and Sushant.
- On 4 September, the NCB arrested Showik Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput’s house manager.
- On 9 September, The NCB arrested Rhea Chakraborty for allegedly procuring drugs for Rajput. She was one of 20 persons arrested by the NCB in connection with the drugs angle probed in the actor’s death.
- On 3 October, Dr. Sudhir Gupta of AIIMS, leader of the CBI designated forensic medical team, said “Sushant death is a case of suicide”.
- On 5 October, ANI reported that the AIIMS medical board had submitted its report to CBI confirming Rajput died by suicide and ruling out murder angles.
- On 6 October, Mumbai Sessions Court extended Chakraborty judicial remand until 20 October, but a day later she was granted bail by the Bombay High court.
About Postmortem Report –
A team of three doctors conducted an autopsy and submitted their provisional postmortem report at Bandra Police Station. “The provisional cause of death”, said the Mumbai deputy commissioner of police on 22 June, “is asphyxia due to hanging”. The final postmortem report, received on 25 June, confirmed the cause of the death as asphyxia due to hanging and said it was a “clear case of suicide”. The autopsy doctors placed time of death at 10 to 12 hours before postmortem examination on 14 June at 11:30 pm – meaning between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.
The report added that no foul play was found on 27 July, Mumbai e received the viscera report, which likewise ruled out any foul play.
Groupism Debate –
Rajput’s death in Bollywood film industry sparked a debate in India about nepotism and bad practices. A day after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, actress and filmmaker Kangana Ranaut considered that the actor was a victim of film industry’s nepotistic nature and it did not acknowledged Rajput’s work which led to his mental suffering.
A case was registered against Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Salman Khan, Ekta Kapoor and four others in the Patna High court by a lawyer, Sudhir Kumar Ojha, alleging that Sushant had been denied opportunities due to nepotism, leading to his suicide, but the case was later dismissed on 8 July, Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt were then threatened on social media.
After that, Kangana Ranaut and her team started a action against unruled nepotism in Bollywood. In an interview with Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, She blamed the “movie mafia” for Rajput’s death. She claimed production houses Dharma productions and Yash Raj films had worked to ensure Rajput’s failure and that film critic Rajveer Masand had defamed him publicly.
Amongst the debut over nepotism, vote brigading by fans of Rajput let to the trailer of Sadak 2, released on 12 August 2020, to become the most disliked trailer on YouTube within 24 hours of its release. Considering that Sushant Singh Rajput had despaired of being shut out of the film industry due to favouritism, his fans blamed Bollywood insiders, including Mahesh Bhatt, director of Sadak 2, and his daughter Alia Bhatt, one of the film’s stars, who had spoken dismissively of Rajput in a talk show.
Timeline of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case :-
A week prior to his suicide, Sushant had googled three subjects multiple times: Disha Salian, his former manager who had died about a week before him, new reports containing his own name and information about a mental illness. On 13 June 2020, the night before his death, Sushant retired to his bedroom after dinner. On Sunday 14 June at around 2 am he made two phone calls, one to Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty and another to television actor Mahesh Shetty. Neither call was answered. Sushant then woke up early that morning. Some time after, he googled information about “schizophrenia”, “bipolar disorder” and “painless death”.
Two of Sushant’s friends were living with him. On 14 June, In the morning he spoke to his sister over the telephone at around 9 am and an hour later he had a glass of juice and his tablets. At around 11:30 am, his cooked knocked several times on the door of his room, to confirm the menu for the day. He and Sushant’s friends received no response. They then called a key-maker to open the door, following which they called Sushant’s sister and the police. He was found hanging from the ceiling fan. No suicide note was recovered.
The Indian Express reported that the Mumbai Police said the actor had shown symptoms of clinical depression and was consulting a psychiatrist. Times now reported that medical papers and anti-depressant pills were found in his house.
Rajput was cremated by his father at Pawan Hans Crematorium, Vile Parle on 15 June. Actors Kriti Sanon, Vivek Oberoi, Ranvir Shorey, Shraddha Kapoor, amongst others were present at his funeral proceedings.