Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty arrested over the death of Sushant Singh Rajput

Rhea Chakraborty
Rhea Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput were in a relationship

Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested by India’s narcotics control authority for allegedly buying drugs for her actor-boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput, 34, was found dead in his flat in Mumbai on 14 June. Police said he had killed himself. His family, however, registered a police complaint against Chakraborty, accusing her of abetment to suicide. She is yet to comment but denied any wrongdoing in earlier statements. Chakraborty’s brother, Showik, and Rajput’s former house manager, Samuel Miranda, were also arrested last week in the same drugs case. But the charges against them have not been revealed. All three are reportedly accused of organizing and financing Rajput’s alleged consumption of cannabis. The case is connected to the investigation into Rajput’s death. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) asked the court to detain Chakraborty for further questioning, while describing her as part of an “active drug syndicate”. A magistrate rejected her bail plea and remanded her to judicial custody until 22 September.

Rhea Chakraborty outside NCB office after being summoned for questioning in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput's death case at Ballard Estate on September 8, 2020 in Mumbai, India.
The words on Chakaborty’s T-shirt were widely shared on social media

While being arrested, Chakraborty was seen wearing a T-shirt with the words, “rose are red, violets are blue, let’s smash the patriarchy, me and you”. Soon, the words were being shared on social media by Bollywood stars, influencers and ordinary citizens in a show of support. Chakraborty’s is the most high-profile arrest in connection with a case that has captivated and polarised India in recent months. Prime time television news covered every development, turning Rajput and Chakraborty’s personal lives into subjects of public debate. Many of the news channels have been accused of misogyny in their coverage of the case.

Chakraborty and Rajput began dating in the summer of 2019, according to reports, and moved in together in December. On 8 June, a week before Rajput’s death, Chakraborty went to stay with her parents and wasn’t home when the actor died. After his death, reports in the press suggested that he had been dealing with mental health issues. But within days, the focus shifted to Chakraborty and the 28-year-old upcoming actress soon found herself at the centre of a storm of allegations, conspiracy theories, rumours and unconfirmed reports.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput started dating Chakraborty in 2019

The media attention intensified after Rajput’s father registered a complaint against her. He denied that his son had any mental health issues and accused Chakraborty of stealing his son’s money, among other allegations. For months, Chakraborty has been trolled on social media. She’s been called names like “fortune huntress” and “mafia moll”, and has been accused of getting Rajput addicted to drugs and driving him to suicide. The actress has approached the supreme court over what she says is an “unfair media trial” and has issued her own statement and given TV interviews, denying all the charges against her. She has also issued a plea to Home Minister Amit Shah for a fair investigation into Rajput’s death.

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