Over the past few days, Navika Kumar of TV channel Times Now has been reading out private WhatsApp chats as alleged proof of a “Bollywood drug list” in reports emanating from the official investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
After Rajput died by suicide on June 14, several investigative agencies were deployed to inquire into the allegation that he had been driven to take his own life – or, in legal terms, they were looking into possible “abetment to suicide”. As the actor’s death came to be used a political axe ahead of the Bihar elections, a dizzying series of twists resulted in the Narcotics Control Bureau on September 9 arresting Rajput’s girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, on drug charges.
The authorities claim that by purchasing small quantities of marijuana for Rajput, Chakraborty was a part of a network that merited further investigation.
All of these developments have been reported by Navika Kumar’s channel, which has been broadcasting what it claims are WhatsApp chats that incriminate the “Bollywood drug mafia”.
“Three exclusive chats have emerged which will leave four Bollywood A-listers completely exposed,” Times Now declared on Monday. @They will also be summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau soon. The drug chats with initials of actors had gone viral on social media. Times Now accesses the names of these A-listers’ initials. D stands for [actor] Deepika Padukone while K stands for Karishma. Their drug chats with [talent manager] Jaya Saha have now been exposed.”
These violations of privacy prompted social media users to make dark jokes about Kumar’s reporting.
This was comedian Saloni Gaur’s reaction.
Here are some other responses.