As police and other investigative authorities in India try to undo the Gordian knot surrounding the case of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, several revelations about the actor have been tumbling forth, including an alleged angle of drug abuse.
Since Wednesday night, India's Narcotics Control Bureau, deployed to probe the use of drugs, has already apprehended three people: Zaid Vilatra, remanded into custody of the team until September 9, and two others.
Besides the mudslinging that has become the sport of enthusiastic journalists, fans and other sources, a number of - sometimes shocking -admissions have come to the fore. Here’s a round-up on the latest happenings in the case.
Sushant Singh Rajput was bipolar, wouldn’t take his medication
The actor suffered from anxiety, depression and an existential crisis and for a while was being treated for them. He had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, reported Indian media.
Indian daily Hindustan Times quotes a source at Mumbai police about his psychiatrist Susan Walker’s statement – as part of a psychological autopsy - which alleged that the actor was not comfortable with his diagnosis and would often stop his medication when he saw an improvement. Later, he thought the medicines would no longer work for him.
He also struggled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for 13 years, the doctor was quoted as saying by news18.com.
The other doctor who treated him – he was seen by two in the months leading up to his death – was quoted as saying to NDTV: “"There could be many reasons behind the suicide of a person suffering from severe anxiety, severe depression, and existential crisis. These reasons mainly stem from the negative thoughts of such persons. A strong feeling is built in such persons that he has had a major loss in the past and that the loss cannot be filled... In case he stops treatment being conducted on him in such conditions, the above diseases could complicate and he can resort to the extreme path of suicide, as per the medical psychiatry.”
Zaid Vilatra held for 7 days
Vilatra was handed over to the team’s custody for seven days on Thursday. ANI reported NCB sources saying when he was produced before a court, the public prosecutor cited Section 27 (a) read with Section 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, suggesting that Vilatra is involved in a drug cartel.
His lawyer, Tarak Sayed, opposed the remand on the grounds that only cash was seized from his client – and this is a bailable offence. He also told ANI that the statements made by his client were made under duress.
How Vilatra was caught and what does it have to do with Rhea?
Vilatra is not the only one arrested for links to drug trafficking. Late on August 27, NCB arrested Abbas Lakhani and Karn Arora and seized from their possession ‘bud’ (marijuana). This raid would uncover ties to Vilatra.
"After due procedure and taking evidence on record, Vilatra was apprehended," the official said, adding that the NCB also recovered Rs 9.55 lakh and foreign currency amounting to $2,081, 180 British pound and 15 dirhams.
Vilatra, during interrogation apparently confessed to peddling drugs.
"Based on Vilatra's interrogation, arrested alleged drug dealer Abdul Basit Parihar was made to join the investigation. It was learnt that linkages of Parihar with the earlier accused persons, on the preliminary inquiry based on the details submitted by the ED, were found," the official said.
The NCB source said that Parihar had connections with Samuel Miranda, a friend of Rhea Chakraborty’s. Miranda is accused of procuring drugs on the instructions of Rhea's brother, Showik.
The development comes days after the NCB registered a case against Rhea, her brother Showik, talent manager Jaya Saha, Sushant's co-manager Shruti Modi, and Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya under Sections 20 (b) 28, 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Rhea Chakraborty's father questioned for over 5 hours
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoned Rhea Chakraborty's father, Indrajit Chakraborty, to the DRDO guest house where they’ve been stationed since August 20.
He was questioned for over five hours before his statement was recorded; a day earlier, he was questioned for nine hours. As per news reports he was asked about Rajput and Rhea’s relationship, their alleged break-up on June 8 and Rajput’s financial plans.
Besides Indrajit, Rhea’s brother, Showik, was also questioned.
Others who recorded their statements were Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment Pvt Ltd CEO Bunty Sajdeh – in whose firm former Rajput managers Shruti Modi and Disha Salian were employed. Salian died on June 9, just five days before Rajput’s death, and Sajdeh was asked about their working relationship. Modi’s lawyer went on to make some explosive statements (more on that later).
CBI had also unearthed a connection between Bollywood actor Sohail Khan and Rajput. (Cricketer Rohit Sharma is married to Ritika Sajdeh, the cousin of Bunty Sajdeh, while his sister, Seema, is married to actor and director Sohail Khan.) And so Sohail was also questioned.
Explosive pronouncements by ex manager Shruti Modi
Shruti Modi, the former manager of the late Sushant Singh Rajput, knew of his drug use, said her lawyer in an interview with Indian Daily ‘Times of India’ on Thursday.
Defence attorney Ashok Saraogi said ten days into her appointment as his manager, Modi had discovered his drug use and tried to quit. However, upon the insistence of the ‘Kai Po Che!’ star, she decided to stay on.
Saraogi was quoted as saying, “When she found out about it (Sushant’s drug use) after 10 days of joining, Shruti decided to quit but Sushant told her to stay back and told her that he will not be party to it. So she continued to work as his manager on this condition.”
Saraogi went on to add that Modi is only being named and dragged into the probe because she refused to go along with the demands of the Rajput family. “It is possible that she did not follow the instructions of the sister, so they may have some grievances. They wanted certain account details from her which she declined to part with,” he said.
Bombay High Court judge urges against sensationisation
The Bombay High Court urged media to exercise "restraint" while reporting on the case. "We urge and expect the media to exercise restraint in reporting of the investigation with respect to the (Sushant) death, which should not hamper the investigation in any manner," a Division Bench comprising Justice A.A. Sayed and Justice S.P. Tavade was quoted as saying by IANS.
Later in the day, CBI released a statement calling for people to read and garner information from reliable sources.
-With inputs from agencies