Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh speaks to The Indian Express two days after a AIIMS medical board ruled out that actor Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered, thereby confirming the stand of the Mumbai Police that it was a case of suicide.
What is your reaction on the AIIMS medical board ruling that Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered?
We have been confident that our investigation was carried out in a professional manner. People with no access to investigation papers were casting aspersions on our probe. Only around four to five officers have seen our probe papers. The only other person who saw it was the Supreme Court judge, Justice Hrishikesh Roy (who heard the plea by actor Rhea Chakraborty seeking that the FIR registered against her by the Bihar Police be transferred to Mumbai Police), who was happy with our investigation. The AIIMS report is another validation that we were right all along.
You had said that there was a social media campaign against Mumbai Police and FIRs have been registered in connection to it. The home minister has said that it (campaign) was done at the behest of a political party. How far will the probe go?
It is true that we have registered two FIRs. Our cyber police station is investigating them. Our social media labs have been tracking thousands of accounts since the beginning of August that have been maligning our image on social media platforms and building a narrative. Some of these accounts are operated from abroad. Our investigation has begun and the action will depend on what is found. I cannot pre-empt that. However, those who have maligned our image with malafide intentions will be brought to book.
While the Mumbai Police stand on Sushant’s death being caused by suicide has been vindicated, there have been allegations that it dragged the investigation for nearly a month?
It takes nearly three to six months to complete investigation into an ADR (accidental death report). We have to wait for the forensic report before the inquiry can be completed. From January to September, we have registered 253 ADRs, of which only 50 have been disposed. We have nearly 100 ADRs pending since 2019. At a minimum, it takes around 40 days to probe ADRs. Hence, the probe took as long.
But many from Bollywood, like filmmakeer Aditya Chopra, actor Shekhar Kapoor and movie critics were called in for questioning.
On social media, Shekhar Kapoor said he knew why Sushant killed himself. Shouldn’t we call him to find out? He told us that Sushant was not being treated well by a production house. Sushant’s friends told us that he was upset about some blind diary items written against him. Should we not call the person who has written things that impacted his mental health? Of the 56 people whose statements we took, a handful were from Bollywood.
What is the status of the probe into the suicide of Disha Salian, who died a week before Sushant?
No foul play has been found there as well and a thorough investigation has been carried out. There are just a few things remaining in that inquiry and we should be completing it soon.
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