Now that the Supreme Court has ordered a CBI probe into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, it is hoped the ugly war of words between the Maharashtra and Bihar governments will cease immediately.
It was surprising to find Rajput’s death, allegedly by suicide, create such a huge controversy. Bitter exchanges between the police and other political and civilian authorities of Mumbai and Patna were clearly avoidable. Whether or not he was a Bollywood A-lister, it was absolutely necessary to allay apprehensions of foul play, if any. However, the manner in which the Maharashtra government conducted itself, it seemed as if it had something to hide.
Of course, despite what appeared to be a politically motivated campaign against a political bigwig in the state, the need for ruling out any mischief in his death could not be exaggerated. The truth behind the young actor’s death must come to light. The scurrilous suggestions of foul play found traction in the first instance due to the vehemence with which the Maharashtra government opposed a CBI probe. It further strengthened such suspicions by quarantining the leader of a team of policemen from Bihar who, following an FIR filed by the actor’s father, had landed in Mumbai to undertake a preliminary probe.
In this regard, a Shiv Sena spokesman queered the pitch further by his tirade against the actor’s family. What should normally have been a case of a forensic investigation into the cause of Rajput’s death was invested with so much political significance that it became a matter of prestige between the two governments. The Maharashtra government was ill-advised to dig in its heels, opposing a CBI probe, especially after the controversy had become virtual media- fodder for weeks on end. The suggestion in some quarters that partisan politics had come to be entangled in Rajput’s death with an eye on the coming assembly poll in Bihar too cannot be dismissed lightly. Caste-driven electoral politics in the state is certain to milk the controversy, thanks largely to the ham-handed way the Maharashtra government has dealt with the case.
When it had nothing to fear, when it had nothing to hide, it should have itself called for a CBI probe. The prolonged controversy seems to have ruined a couple of other reputations, including that of the actor girlfriend of the deceased. She has been accused by the Rajput family of withdrawing Rs. 15 crore from his account. Whether he had that kind of money is not the issue, there will be partisans on both sides to believe the worst of the other. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while welcoming the court order handling the case to the CBI, has claimed vindication. We trust an impartial CBI probe will help vindicate others dragged into the suicide/death controversy for what appears to be extraneous reasons