Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case has cropped up several lesser-known names amid the ongoing probe.
The list goes beyond his girlfriend and actress Rhea Chakraborty – her brother Showik, parents Indrajit and Sandhya, roommate Siddharth Pithani, manager Samuel Miranda and cook Neeraj Singh.
The following names have headlined for their alleged involvement in the case after being summoned by CBI or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning.
The ED summoned talent manager Jaya Saha in connection to the money laundering probe.
A senior ED official said that Saha, who was questioned earlier by the financial probe agency, has been asked to appear again.
Saha was consultant at Kwann Talent Agency, and was also the talent manager for Sushant's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty.
The ED source said that the financial probe agency wants to question her about the drug angle, that has come up after one of Saha's conversation with Rhea got leaked.
The ED has also sought the help of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to investigate into the drug angle. According to ED sources, Rhea's WhatsApp chats and a discussion about 'hard drugs' and 'MDMA' came to the fore over the last few days.
A message sent to her by one Jaya Saha on November 25 last year read: "Use 4 drops in coffee, tea or water and let him sip it. Give it 30-40 minutes for it to kick in." It is being presumed that the "him" refers to Sushant.
CBI named her among six people in the FIR it has registered in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
It has emerged that Shruti Modi is the former manager of Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty. This is a fact corroborated by a report in zeenews.india.com, dated July 29, which stated that Mumbai Police has recorded Shruti's statement as part of their investigation into Sushant's death.
It eventually came to light that Shruti was also Sushant Singh Rajput's ex-business manager.
As per Shruti's statement given to Mumbai Police, she was associated with Sushant from July 2019 to February 2020. The Zee News report added Shruti told Mumbai Police that Sushant was "financially sound" and spent almost Rs 10 lakh per month, with the monthly rent of his Bandra apartment coming to around Rs 4.5 lakh. She has also reportedly shared a break-up of the late actor's monthly expenses with the police.
Modi was questioned by the CBI's Special Investigation Team, who was accompanied by her lawyer. She was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The NCB also registered a case under Sections 20 (b) 28, 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act against her.
Shruti Modi's lawyer, Ashok Saraogi while speaking to Times Now, said that Imtiaz Khatri supplies drugs to Bollywood personalities and also has a lot of influence in the ministries. He said that Khatri belongs to a politically connected ‘controversial’ family, who was involved in the Maharashtra irrigation scam. The lawyer also alleged that the supply takes place with the knowledge of the police and it is a 'very common thing in the film industry'.
Talking about Imtiaz Khatri, Rastogi claimed, "All these drugs are supplied by the topmost person in the trade - Imtiaz Khatri. He is a big person and has influence not just in Bollywood but also in the ministries. He is really close with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)."
"So, Imtiaz Khatri has long been in the trade of drugs in the film industry. I meet so many people who work in Bollywood and take drugs on a regular basis," he added.
According to several media reports, Imtiaz Khatri is a builder by profession, who owns INK Infrastructure. He's also a producer and owns VVIP Universal Entertainment Company. He had bankrolled the 2017 Marathi-language drama film ‘Hrudayantar’, which was directed by Vikram Phadnis.
Khatri had also made headlines for his rumoured relationship with Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen. He is often spotted attending star-studded parties along with Bollywood celebrities like Manish Malhotra, actor Sooraj Pancholi, Guru Randhawa and others.
The Narcotics Control Bureau arrested two alleged contraband dealers in connection with the drugs trafficking case linked to the case. Indian currency worth Rs 9,55,750 and foreign currency (USD 2,081, 180 British Pounds, 15 dirhams), which the NCB claimed are "proceeds of drug peddling", have been recovered from Zaid, who is stated to in his twenties.
"Zaid disclosed that he runs an eatery in Bandra which was not giving any pecuniary gains since lockdown. He also disclosed that he is into drug peddling, especially bud, through which he used to earn a substantial amount of money," the NCB said.
According to the NCB, the best quality of bud is sold for about Rs 5,000 per gram.
Zaid came under the scanner after the agency arrested two people -- Abbas Lakhani and Karan Arora -- in another narcotics case on August 27-28 in Mumbai and recovered a bud consignment from them.
Lakhani had "linkages" with Zaid, the NCB claimed.
The agency has also arrested Bandra resident Basit Parihar after interrogating Zaid.
Parihar is "learnt to have linkages" with the narcotics case registered against Rajput's live-in partner Rhea Chakraborty, 28, and others.
Parihar is linked to a person who in turn was allegedly reported to be featuring in chats recovered from the mobile phone of Rhea, they said.
Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya - whose name figured in WhatsApp chats of actress Rhea Chakraborty, arrived in Mumbai to join the probe in the alleged drugs and money laundering angle in the Rajput case.
"In case we speak about hard drugs, I haven't been doing too much. Tried MDMA once," she allegedly messaged a man named Gaurav Arya, asking him: "You have MD?"
"I did not know Sushant personally, nor had ever met him. I had met her (Rhea) in 2017... I have no connection whatsoever in the Sushant case," he said.
Arya is the owner of Hotel Tamarind and Cafe Cotinga in Goa.
As actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty reached the DRDO guest house in Santacruz for questioning by the CBI, another name that popped up was that of Suved Lohia.
Salman Khan's 'Jai Ho' co-star, Suved Lohia had alleged given his car to the sibling duo. According to reports, when the Enforcement Department (ED) was probing Rajput's girlfriend in connection to the money laundering case, she had arrived in a black dark-grey Ford Endeavour, which belongs to Suved Lohia.
Lohia, who has worked in films like 'Aryan: Unbreakable' and Salman Khan's 'Jai Ho', is a successful entrepreneur and hotelier.
According to a report by Times of India, Lohia was also summoned for interrogation in the case.
As per senior NCB sources related to the probe, the agency has prepared the list of 20 suspects over supply of drugs in the case including ex-Big Boss contestant Ejaz Khan, Farookh Batata, and Bakul Chandani, among others.
Rajput was found hanging in his apartment following which the Mumbai Police had registered a case of accidental death.
The late film star’s father subsequently filed a police complaint in Patna, accusing Rhea Chakraborty and her family of abetting Rajput’s suicide and misappropriating his money.