Drug probe in SSR death case: Covid pauses SIT's quizzing

The questioning of Shruti Modi, the former business manager of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, was postponed on Wednesday morning, after one of the members of the special investigation team (SIT) of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) tested positive for Covid-19.

The NCB had summoned Modi and talent manager Jaya Saha to appear before them on Wednesday. The agency said that the duo had been summoned to "join the investigations".

Modi reached the NCB guesthouse near the Gateway of India in South Mumbai on Wednesday morning only to be sent back, after the agency found out that one of its SIT members had tested positive for corona.
“One of the SIT members has tested positive for corona. We received the antigen test report. In view of that, other members will be tested and due protocol will be followed. Accordingly, we have sent back Shruti Modi, who had joined the investigation,” said KPS Malhotra, Deputy Director, NCB, who is heading the team.

Later in the day, Malhotra said that all members of the SIT underwent Covid-19 tests. “The team member who had tested positive has been quarantined and all other team members are asymptomatic and have tested negative,” he said.

As per protocol, every arrested accused is subjected to a Covid-19 test before he is produced before the competent court. In this case, the agency has arrested 18 persons, including actress Rhea Chakraborty. The other arrested persons include Rhea’s brother Showik, alleged drug peddlers, carriers and a staffer who worked with Rajput.

There are five members in the SIT, who are looking into the allegations of drug trafficking. After this development, Saha too did not appear. However, NCB officials said she would be summoned again, following requisite protocol. Modi and Saha were called for questioning after their names allegedly surfaced in WhatsApp conversations of actor Rhea Chakraborty, who has been arrested in the case.

The agency has registered two FIRs in this regard. The first FIR was filed based on the inputs provided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had stumbled upon chats between Rhea and others, in which drugs were allegedly discussed. The mandate of the second FIR is to unearth the alleged drug cartel involved. The arrests have been made based on the second FIR registered by the agency. Meanwhile, three others arrested in the case - Karamjeet Singh, Dwayne Fernandes and Ankush Anreja - were produced before a court on Wednesday, which has sent them to judicial custody till September 23.

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Free Press Journal