The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday said certain media reports attributed to the agency in connection with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death were “speculative and not based on facts”, PTI reported. This is the first statement issued by the CBI since it took over the inquiry last month.
“The CBI is conducting investigation in a systematic and professional way,” a spokesperson of the agency said in a statement. “Certain media reports attributed to CBI investigation are speculative and not based on facts. It is reiterated that as a matter of policy, CBI does not share details of an ongoing investigation.”
The agency added that no team member has shared any details of the investigation with the media. “The details being reported and attributed to CBI are not credible,” it said.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. The CBI is looking into the case registered on a complaint from Rajput’s father KK Singh, alleging abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, wrongful restraint and confinement. The Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate are also investigating the case involving the death of the 34-year-old actor.
On Thursday, the Bombay High Court directed media houses to exercise restraint in reporting the investigation into Rajput’s death. Several TV news channels have been targeting actor Rhea Chakraborty, who is currently the key accused in Rajput’s death. Chakraborty has been accused by Rajput’s family of drugging him and driving him to suicide. In a television interview last month, Chakraborty had spoken of the harassment that she and her family were facing. “The witch-hunt mentality has destroyed my family’s life,” she had said.
On Sunday, the Network of Women in Media had also criticised media for targeting Chakraborty and said investigating authorities should be allowed to do their job fairly. “Each day brings with it a new low in TV news channels’ coverage, from leaking private chats to making fact-free insinuations to splashing triggering images of the deceased,” it said.
Last week, the Press Council of India had advised media organisations to adhere to journalistic standards, refrain from sensational reporting and not conduct a trial in the case.
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NCB questions Showik Chakraborty, Samuel Miranda
The Narcotics Control Bureau on Friday conducted searches at the premises of Showik Chakraborty, brother of main accused Rhea Chakraborty, and Rajput’s former housekeeping manager Samuel Miranda to investigate the drug angle linked to Rajput’s death, reported PTI.
Both Showik Chackraborty and Miranda were taken to the anti-drug probe agency’s office for questioning after the searches, which began at 6.40 am, reported NDTV. “The searches were conducted under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985,” an official told the news channel. Both have been issued summons to join the investigation.
A special NCB team from Delhi, headed by Deputy Director (Operations) KPS Malhotra, is in Mumbai for investigation. The team also includes agency officers from Mumbai and has been constituted by NCB Director General Rakesh Asthana.
On Wednesday, the bureau had arrested two people in Mumbai. Those arrested have been identified as Zaid Vilatra and Abdul Basit Parihar. The agency said Parihar knew actor Rhea Chakraborty’s associate Samuel Miranda, who is accused of procuring drugs on instructions of Chakraborty’s brother. Last week, two more people were arrested in the case, PTI reported.
While actor Rhea Chakraborty is currently the key accused in Rajput’s death, his family has accused Miranda of helping Chakraborty in siphoning off the actor’s money and supplying drugs.
The Narcotics Control Bureau is the latest agency to be drawn into the case involving the death of the 34-year-old actor, which is already being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate. The agency has registered the case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, based on evidence shared by the ED about the suspected role of some persons dealing in banned or controlled drugs.