A suspect in the sex CD case allegedly featuring a Chhattisgarh minister was found hanging at his shop in Raipur on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported. The Central Bureau of Investigation had been questioning Rinku Khanuja since June 1, his family members said. His mother alleged that Khanuja was tortured by the investigation agency.
The CD first came to light in October, when the police arrested journalist Vinod Verma in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly trying to blackmail minister Rajesh Munat, who purportedly features in the clips. Munat has called the CD fake and filed a police complaint against state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel for circulating the clip.
Khanuja, an automobile dealer, was suspected to have played a role in “morphing, designing and distributing the CD”, according to The Times of India. Khanuja was questioned by CBI officials in Raipur on June 1 and June 3 after his name came up during the interrogation of a politician and a businessman on May 31, the police said. The officials had asked Khanuja to bring some documents on Monday, CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said.
“No suicide note was recovered from the spot,” Raipur police chief Amresh Mishra said. “We have registered a case and started investigation from all angles.”
In a message on WhatsApp to his family on Tuesday morning, Khanuja said this was his last greetings and asked for forgiveness. His family began to look for him after this and found him hanging inside his shop.
His family said they will wait for the autopsy report before taking any action. “He used to go every morning [for questioning] and return at night,” Khanuja’s uncle Niranjan Singh Sahuja told The Indian Express. “Usually when someone is being questioned like this, he is under pressure. He was not a weak person to commit suicide, we want an inquiry. We have faith in [the] police, and will only say something after autopsy.”
The Congress has demanded an investigation into the death.
Vinod Verma got out on bail in January, and alleged that he had been framed. He said that at the time of his arrest, he had been in touch with some top editors to get the story about the video clip published.