Bollywood actress arrested after ex-boyfriend’s suicide
Mumbai – Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested for allegedly buying drugs for her former boyfriend, actor Sushant Singh Rajput, whose suicide sparked a media storm in India.
Rajput, 34, was found dead in June in his Mumbai apartment – with police saying he took his own life. A star with many hit movies to his name, his suicide initially triggered a debate over mental health in the multi-billion-dollar industry.
But Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him. She has strongly denied the allegations and her lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, called the arrest “a travesty of justice”.
Chakraborty was arrested on Tuesday.
The police have also detained others in connection with the case, including her brother and a member of Rajput’s house staff.
India’s top anti-crime agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, has been probing his death since last month. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was looking into the star’s consumption of cannabis.
“We will be opposing bail petitions” for all suspects, NCB Director Mutha Ashok Jain told reporters.
Chakraborty has been remanded to judicial custody until Sept 22.
The investigation has grabbed headlines for months, with the media closely following the back-and-forth allegations between Rajput’s family and Chakraborty.
She was regularly hounded by reporters when she appeared in public, with news commentators opining on her innocence or guilt.
Rajput’s family claims she poisoned him, used black magic and is responsible for his death.
“There has been a conspiracy to break me and my family and my spirit,” Chakraborty said in an interview with television anchor Rajdeep Sardesai in late August.
“It is the systematic breakdown of an innocent family, an innocent girl who loved an innocent boy.”
Some celebrities including actress Sonam Kapoor and director Anurag Kashyap accused TV channels of carrying out a “witch hunt” against Chakraborty.
On Sunday, she was jostled by a pack of journalists as she tried to enter a narcotics department office in Mumbai, where police struggled to disperse the crowd.
“Sickening”, journalist Swati Chaturvedi wrote on Twitter.
Alaka Sahani, a senior Indian Express journalist, added: “The visuals of Rhea being hounded makes my stomach churn and puke.” - AFP/REUTERS