INDIA. Mumbai. Actress Rhea Chakraborty was placed under arrest, on charges of procuring and consuming drugs, by the Narcotics Control Board (NCB), on completion of her questioning for three days, in the Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, at NCB’s office at Ballard Estate in South Mumbai, on Tuesday.
Attempt to break the drug cartel
Rhea Chakraborty will be put in a temporary lock-up set up in NCB’s office. Her medical examination was carried out at Sion Hospital where she tested negative for COVID-19. She has been granted 14 days of judicial custody. Possibly she will be confronted with others in days to come and will be taken to places for recovery if any. To break the drug cartel her custodial interrogation is needed.
“Rhea has been arrested and the due process of informing the family has been completed,” NCB Deputy Director (Operations) KPS Malhotra said. The NCB said they placed Rhea Chakraborty under arrest based on Whatsapp chats and the statements of the other accused. NCB had earlier said that it had obtained mobile phone chat records and other electronic data that suggested some banned drugs were allegedly procured by these people.
Rhea’s arrest comes a day after she had approached the Mumbai police with a complaint against Sushant’s sister Priyanka Singh and a doctor for allegedly getting him psychiatric medication without consultation and using forged paperwork. The Mumbai police on Tuesday registered an FIR in the case.
Rhea’s lawyer condemns arrest
Calling her arrest a “travesty of justice”, her lawyer Satish Maneshinde said, “Three central agencies hounding a single woman just because she was in love with a drug addict and was suffering from mental health issues for several years under the care of five leading psychiatrists in Mumbai, who ended up committing suicide due to consumption of illegally administered medicines and used drugs.”
The NCB said they had come across chats in a Whatsapp group, which included her younger brother Showik (24), Sushant’s cook Dipesh Sawant and Sushant’s ex-house manager Samuel Miranda(33), where marijuana was discussed. Miranda had earlier said that he produced weed for Sushant. The NCB, however, did not clarify if Rhea was arrested for consumption or being part of a group involved in the buying and selling of drugs.
Earlier, Rhea had also said that Rajput regularly took marijuana and she had discouraged him from using it due to his ongoing psychiatric treatment. Rhea’s lawyer Maneshinde had said she never consumed drugs and was ready for a blood test.
Rhea (28) was questioned over a drug abuse case in connection with Sushant’s death at his residence in Bandra in North West Mumbai, on June 14. She was confronted with Showik, Miranda, and Sawant to ascertain their roles in an alleged drug racket. These three accused were arrested and remanded to police custody till 09 September 2020.
Rhea becomes 10 th accused in the drug peddling case since 9 others, including her brother have already been taken into custody. As per deposition before the NCB by the accused on April 17, Rhea and Showik had instructed Dipessh to receive a delivery of 10 gm of hashish from Kaizen Ebrahim near Mont Blanc building, Bandra. On May 1, Showik allegedly told Dipesh to receive marijuana from a person named Dwayne, and had received 50 gm of marijuana from him on May 2.
Chakraborty’s father Indrajit had issued an emotional statement after his son’s arrest. “Congratulations India, you have arrested my son, I’m sure next on the line is my daughter and I don’t know who is next thereafter,” Lt Col Indrajit Chakraborty (retd) had said in the statement.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against Rhea and others in connection with Sushant’s death. She was earlier questioned by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), which are probing different angles surrounding Sushant’s death.
Sushant’s autopsy had indicated that he died by suicide. His father, K K Singh however, filed an FIR against Rhea in Patna on 25 July, accusing Rhea of driving his son to suicide and misappropriating his money. She has denied the allegations on several occasions.