On Sunday, 14 June, Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his residence in Mumbai’s Bandra. Following Sushant’s death, media and social media has been abuzz with a lot of discussions, and speculations over his death.
As per procedure, the Mumbai Police took his body for post mortem and an inquiry was launched. Yesterday, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh had also spoken about the issue. Taking to Twitter, Deshmukh confirmed that though the post mortem has confirmed that Rajput had committed suicide by hanging himself, there have been allegations of professional rivalry. Deshmukh added that the police will also probe this angle in their investigation.
Rajdeep’s objection to the investigation
After Deshmukh’s Tweet, senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai shared an objection over the issue. Sardesai wrote that this is what happens when governments watch ‘too much social media’ and the Mumbai police should instead let Sushant Singh Rajput ‘rest in peace’ and let his family ‘mourn quietly’.
Replying to Rajdeep, police officer Pranav Mahajan asked what exactly is his problem with an investigation that is the mandated legal procedure. He added that the law mandates that the reasons behind suicide cases are investigated.
IPS officer replies to Sardesai
Replying to Sardesai’s misleading tweet, senior IPS officer Arun Bothra informed him that Section 174 of CrPC mandates an enquiry into every unnatural death. The law has this responsibility towards the dead.
Bothra added that Rajput’s family deserves to know the reasons behind his death. Addressing Rajdeep’s assertions about ‘letting Sushant rest in peace’ and letting the family ‘mourn quietly’, Bothra asked whether Rajdeep wants the police to stop doing their job and let the grieving family be satisfied with what the news anchors say.
Rajdeep makes U-turn
After the reply, Rajdeep made an instant U-turn. While in his initial tweet he has clearly been objecting to the investigation, in his next reply, he stated that the investigation must happen but he was not comfortable with the home minister directing the police to investigate about the Bollywood rivalry angle based on media reports.
However, his attempt at diversion was again caught by Bothra. He replied that since Sushant was working in Bollywood, any investigation into his death will naturally involve Bollywood.
He also added that an inquiry into the death of a person will include all aspects, even the abetment of suicide under the section 306 of CrPC.
With due regard, to rule out a foul play the enquiry has to take into account all aspects. Even possibility of abetment to suicide u/s 306 IPC.— Arun Bothra (@arunbothra) June 15, 2020
Enquiry into death of Hindi movie actor has to involve Bollywood. You can’t conduct it in his village or for that matter in Hollywood. https://t.co/ucREXdSMjB
Bothra pointed the obvious to the senior journalist, that the probe on the unfortunate death of the Bollywood actor cannot be conducted at his village or in Hollywood, it has to be conducted where he worked and lived.
Sushant’s family has alleged foul play
It is notable here that though many reports have stated that the young actor was suffering from depression, his family has alleged foul play in his death. Sushant’s brother-in-law who is a senior police officer in Haryana had alleged foul play and has sought a thorough investigation into the case.
It is also notable here that even if media reports and speculations are discounted, any suicide mandates a police investigation and since Sushant’s professional and personal life was linked to Bollywood, the investigation will naturally involve this angle.