A third dimension has been added to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, with the Narcotics Control Bureau joining the probe currently being conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had entered the picture earlier this month.
The latest development follows the ED's scrutiny on Tuesday of some WhatsApp chats between the late actor's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and others, suggesting that drugs were being consumed in the SSR household.
These incriminating findings have been reinforced by Rajput's former bodyguard Mushtaq’s claim to undercover reporters of India Today that he had seen the star consuming an expensive variety of imported ‘charas’ during private parties and while travelling in his car. Mushtaq was part of the actor's personal security retinue for almost nine months before he left the job in February last year.
The former bodyguard has revealed that there would be parties at Sushant’s house where five to six people would be there. ‘‘Everyone in the room would take them,’’ he has been quoted as saying by the news portal.
According to him, three or four personal staff of Rajput would roll charas joints for him. Rajput's cook Neeraj, in his police complaint, has admitted to rolling marijuana cigarettes for his employer.
The NCB, which is now seized of the matter, is expected to shortly hand over its findings to the ED and is also considering formally registering a first information report.
At the first meeting held by NCB Director Rakesh Asthana, in connection with the Rajput death probe, they discussed the source of the allegations that suggested Rajput and Chakraborty were supplied banned drugs like mephedrone (MD) and cannabis (weed), among others.
The NCB team will now conduct an inquiry and those involved will be questioned to ascertain the facts, said an official. Satish Maneshinde, senior counsel and Chakraborty's lawyer, is, however, adamant. “Rhea has never consumed drugs in her life. She’s ready for a blood test any time.”
DIGITAL BREAK-UP: In another development, the CBI questioned the late actor's friend and flatmate Siddharth Pithani in connection with the case. Pithani informed the CBI that 8 hard drives were destroyed on June 8 at Sushant’s residence just before Rhea Chakraborty left the actor's house. Both Sushant and Rhea were present when hardware technicians were summoned to clean up the drives, which possibly contained the personal videos and snaps of the couple. The cleaning up of the drives was perhaps part of their digital break-up; Rhea had walked out of the house the same day and checked in at Mahesh Bhatt’s residence.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, two officers from the Bandra police station -- investigating officer inspector Bhushan Belnekar and sub-inspector Vaibhav Jagtap -- arrived at the Defence Research and Development Organisation office along with case papers and documents they had in their possession. They had been summoned by the CBI for inquiries.