ACTOR SUSHANT Singh Rajput had searched on Google three items repeatedly in the week preceding his suicide: his own name in news reports, the name of his former manager Disha Salian who had committed suicide the previous week, and information about a mental illness, a top police officer overseeing the probe told The Indian Express.
The officer said that on June 14, even a few hours before committing suicide, he had Googled his own name.
These details have emerged from forensic reports of his mobile phone and laptop received from the Kalina Forensic Laboratory, the officer said.
Investigators have also obtained bank account details of the actor. “All the accounts where money had been transferred were known. The largest transfer was Rs 2.8 crore last year, which was for GST,” the officer said.
Mumbai Police has recorded over 40 statements in the case, so far. “We found that Sushant knew there was talk linking him to Salian’s death and he was worried this speculation might reach the media. That is why he may have been searching online. These issues seem to have exacerbated his condition. He had Googled his own name a few hours before the suicide,” the officer said.
The police also recorded the statement of three psychiatrists and one psychotherapist last month. “They confirmed that Rajput had consulted them for treatment. They also told us the medication they had prescribed,” the officer said.
Further, from the statement of Siddharth Pithani, Rajput’s friend who had been living in the same house, the police came to know that the actor had been prescribed medicines by his doctors.
“From the prescriptions, and the statement of his friend, cook and caretaker, we found nothing amiss. After he started feeling better, he had stopped taking the medication,” the officer said.
Apart from Pithani, the police also took statements from Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant’s father K K Singh, and sisters Neetu and Meetu Singh, among others.
“In the statement given by his father, he said he did not suspect that anyone drove his son to commit suicide,” an officer said, adding that even his sister and uncle did not level any allegation when they met a senior officer soon after the suicide.
The police also explored the angle of “professional rivarly”, the officer said. While Rajput had entered into a three-film contract with Yash Raj Films (YRF) in 2012, he left after two — ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ and ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’. The third movie ‘Paani’, to be directed by Shekhar Kapur, did not take off and Rajput left YRF in 2015.
In this regard, police recorded the statements of two YRF employees that ‘Paani’ was shelved due to alleged creative differences between Kapur and YRF chairman Aditya Chopra. Kapur, too, told police in an emailed statement that the project had been shelved due to creative differences. Kapur was out of Mumbai, with police likely to record a detailed statement later.
Soon after Rajput’s death, Kapur had tweeted, “I knew the pain you were going through. The story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder. I wish I was around the last 6 months. I wish you had reached out to me. What happened to you was their karma not yours.”
The officer said that though many in Bollywood claimed on social media that Rajput was forced to take the extreme step due to a group in the industry, “they do not say so in their official statements with us”.
The officer further said that police found “contradictions” between the statements of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aditya Chopra on the question of how Rajput was allegedly not allowed by YRF to work on films by the director while Ranveer Singh, who was also under contract with the firm, was.
“Bhansali stated that ‘Goliyon Ki Ram-Leela’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Padmaavat’ had been offered to Rajput. But Chopra said that Ranveer had already been cast in ‘Goliyon Ki Ram-Leela’ in April 2012, while Sushant joined YRF only in November that year. Chopra also said that no one had contacted YRF’s talent management company for ‘Bajirao Mastani’. But Bhansali said he had contacted them.”
In his statement, Chopra said YRF had never stopped Rajput from working in any movie and was, in fact, allowed to do ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ with another director. “These issues took place a few years back. It would be difficult to prove that they had any bearing on the suicide,” the officer said.
YRF, Shekhar Kapur, Sidharth Pithani and Raindrops Media, which represents Bhansali, did not respond to queries from The Indian Express seeking comment.
Mumbai Police is now awaiting the Supreme Court order in the petition filed by Rhea Chakraborthy’s lawyer for transferring the FIR registered against her and her family members in Bihar to Mumbai. The ED, too, has registered an offence based on the FIR to investigate possible money laundering.
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