June 14, 2020, is that fateful day when the country lost its gem in Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, who had moved the audience with his performances in movies such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Kedarnath and Chhichhore. The actor was found dead in his Bandra apartment. It's been a year since his untimely demise and people are trending hashtags on Twitter to seek justice for Sushant.
In March 2020, the country was severely hit by the first wave of novel coronavirus pandemic. It was followed by an unprecedented lockdown that left many people jobless and they are still struggling to make ends meet to feed their families. By then, many tragic suicides were reported across the country. Amid the chaos, the news of Sushant's death jolted the entire Bollywood industry and his fans alike. Initially, a majority of people, be it celebrities or the media or Sushant fans, had believed that Sushant's death was a suicide because of the common sentiment.
Soon, the pictures of Sushant were being circulated on social media after his death and many people started speculating that the actor was strangled. The Mumbai Police in its reports has stated that Sushant hanged himself with the green kurta. The post-mortem conducted at Dr RN Cooper Municipal General Hospital in Mumbai had revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging. The Mumbai Police had also found medication meant to treat depression from his residence and it came to the fore that Sushant was undergoing treatment for his condition at Mumbai’s Hinduja hospital. Over 35 people were questioned by the police to determine what contemplated Sushant to end his own life.
On the other hand, the despicable coverage of Sushant's death became a talking point after the electronic media began its own parallel investigation to find out the reasons behind the actor's death. The topic snowballed into one of the biggest controversies in Bollywood in recent years. It also erupted a political warfare between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra that also involved the poll-bound Bihar regime and the Centre.
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was also at the forefront to speculate that the so-called movie mafia forced Sushant to take his own life. She didn't even hesitate to point fingers at celebrities and claimed that several Bollywood celebrities consume drugs which further led to a mess on social media. She managed to garner a massive media coverage for her controversial statements, be it on Sushant's death or the Maharashtra government.
The Bandra police had lodged an accidental death report in the case, but after the first information report registered by Sushant's father, Krishna Kishore Singh in Patna, the Bihar government sought a CBI probe, which was then ordered by the Supreme Court. On August 19, 2020, the CBI formally took over the case investigation, then the ED entered to probe the financial angles, followed by the NCB to unravel the drugs angle.
Sushant's family squarely blamed his live-in partner and actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and other friends or aides, leading to the arrest of around 33 persons by the NCB. As the CBI-ED probes seem to have faded in the background, the NCB marched on relentlessly, ostensibly to uproot the drugs citadel in Mumbai, especially Bollywood and many of its high-profile players.
The CBI recorded statements of Sushant's family members and other witnesses, while Rhea contended that the late actor used to take drugs and was being treated for certain mental health issues. Revelling in the fresh exposes virtually daily, like a TV soap, the BJP state leaders spared no opportunity to take jabs at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray. Later, in the Bihar elections, Sushant's death proved to be a political windfall and AIIMS, New Delhi, ruled out any foul play, concurring that he died by hanging.
A year has passed and the top 3 investigating agencies are still probing the case from all angles and no closure report has been filed yet. Now, the ball is in the CBI court to draw the curtains for the final word on Sushant's end.
You may still ask the question, 'Who killed Sushant?' And your conscience may tell you that the despicable coverage of his death, a political dogfight, Bollywood warfare and the speculative investigation by the social media users, killed Sushant even after his death.
(With IANS inputs)
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