Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by India’s federal narcotics agency for allegedly buying drugs for her late actor-boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput.
34-year-old Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on 14th June, police said he ended his life. Rajput’s family registered a complaint against Chakraborty, accusing her of abetment to suicide.
Chakraborty has denied any wrongdoing in her public statements.
Chakraborty’s brother, Showik, and Rajput’s former house manager, Samuel Miranda, were also arrested last week in the same drugs case. But the charges against them have not been revealed.
All three are reportedly accused of organising and financing Rajput’s alleged consumption of cannabis. The case is connected to the investigation into Rajput’s death.
Consumption cultivation, possession, use, sale/purchase, import/export, transportation and warehousing of cannabis is illegal in India. The punishment varies from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 10 year imprisonment.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) asked the court to detain Chakraborty for further questioning, while describing her as part of an “active drug syndicate”.
A magistrate rejected her bail plea and remanded her to judicial custody until 22 September.
Chakraborty’s is the most high-profile arrest so far.
‘State machinery after Rhea Chakraborty’:
Chakraborty has faced intense heat from several investigative agencies over the past three months.
First it started with Mumbai police and later Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) over the death of the late actor. Then a money laundering probe began by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and now a drug angle by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Critics have called her arrest and investigation a ‘witch hunt as agencies have not found a shred of evidence but have arrested her anyway’.
Non-stop media trial:
The national media has covered the minutest of developments in the case, turning Rajput and Chakraborty’s personal lives into subjects of public debates. During their non-stop coverage for almost three months now, channels have been accused of misogyny.
The actress had approached the Supreme Court over what she says is an “unfair media trial”, but there has been no end to the ‘kangaroo court’ in India’s TV studios.
The three months of non-stop coverage has overshadowed news on coronavirus – where India is scoring new records each day, economy – worst unemployment rate and GDP stats since her 73 years of Independence, floods – torrential rainfall has killed hundreds and displaced millions.
Many critics have called India’s news channels a ‘government mouthpiece’, who try to push agendas to distract people from core issues.
Who was Sushant Singh Rajput?
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, born in the eastern state of Bihar, Rajput dropped out of a university course in engineering to pursue a career in acting and dance.
His Bollywood breakthrough came in the 2013 film Kai Po Che, which won acclaim at the Berlin film festival.
The actor’s last film which hit the big screen was Chhichhore and it was released last year.
“Dil Bechara”, his last movie was released online on Disney+ Hotstar and has drawn praise from critics.
If you or someone you know needs support for issues about emotional distress visit AASRA.