How Mumbai Police probed Sushant Singh Rajput death: 56 statements, 300 hours, 7 lines of investigation

The Mumbai Police has been investigating the Sushant Singh Rajput death case since June 14. Here's a look at what the Mumbai cops have gathered in the case so far.

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Mumbai Police recorded statements of 56 people over 300 hours in Sushant Singh Rajput case.
Mumbai Police recorded statements of 56 people over 300 hours in Sushant Singh Rajput case.

The Mumbai Police began investigations in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14 when the actor was found dead in his Bandra, Mumbai flat. As per the Mumbai Police officials, statements of 56 people were recorded between June 14 and July 28, and the time spent to record these statements was around 300 hours.

It all started when the police top brass in Mumbai received a call regarding the actor's unnatural death from his brother-in-law OP Singh, who is a senior IPS officer in Haryana. Following the call, the zonal DCP was informed and a team from Bandra police station rushed to the actor's building in Bandra.

The crime scene or the spot where the incident had happened had been contaminated before the police could reach. Four staffers working for the late actor, who were present in his residence, were the ones who found about his death initially. When Sushant didn't open the door despite several knocks and even calls went unanswered, they contacted the actor's sister Meetu Singh and informed her. Before Meetu could reach the residence, Siddharth Pithani, the creative manager along with three other staffers, had opened the door with the help of a keysmith and brought the body down.

The scene was tampered with and during initial statements, none of the family members or friends of Sushant Singh Rajput alleged any foul play or complaints against anyone.

PANCHNAMA, FORENSIC ANALYSIS AND AUTOPSY

The Police panchnama of the spot where Sushant's body was found reveals that the height of the ceiling fan motor from the bed was 5-ft-11-in and the actor's height was 5-ft-10-in. The police along with forensic experts also measured the height of the fan from the inclined position of the body, which was 8-ft-1-in. The actor reportedly hung himself from the ceiling fan and inclined himself on the side of the bed.

There was also a broken bathrobe belt found on the spot, it is suspected that he tried to hang himself using that but police officials raised suspicion without confirming the same.

AUTOPSY

  • There were no marks on his body, no physical marks or struggle of any kind at the scene.
  • The nails were clean and it indicates that it was a suicide and struggle and injury marks.
  • Ligature marks seen on the neck.
  • Excretion of semen was observed which happens in case of unnatural death.
  • Pomegranate juice around 200 ml found in his stomach which he had the same morning. No food found.
  • Viscera was preserved and sent for chemical analysis and toxicology report.

Cause of death: Asphyxia due to hanging

The viscera report from Kalina FSL said that no chemical, poison or effluent traces found ruling out the foul play angle.

LINE OF INVESTIGATION

1. Nepotism / Movie Mafia

Top filmmakers Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Mahesh Bhatt, CEO of Dharma Productions, Apoorva Mehta along with several others were grilled and their statements were recorded by police. Karan Johar was also being called to record his statement but then a fresh FIR was registered against Rhea, her family members and two staffers of Sushant. Mostly all persons associated with Sushant in professional capacity were questioned to know if the allegations of a Bollywood gang targeting the actor was true.

2. Negative publicity / Blind Items

On June 12 there was a negative story published on a Bollywood news portal against Sushant Singh Rajput. Statements of his staffers and friends revealed that Sushant would be affected badly whenever a negative story was published against him. He would say that there were some people trying to tarnish his image, destroy his career and were planting these stories on purpose. Police questioned four to five journalists, those who had reported negative stories against Sushant in the past. Statements of these journalists brought to light the name of Rajeev Masand, senior film critic and journalist. Masand had also written a few negative stories against Sushant but in his statement, he denied writing any blind items against the late actor.

3. Financial Distress

Police officials questioned Sushants business managers, chartered accountant, called for his bank records. There were around Rs 4.5 crore with Sushantin his bank accounts and on the work front he was getting work offers and was to be paid Rs 15 crore for a film that he was to do with Rumy Jafri once the lockdown was lifted. So the police did not find any financial distress but found that in statements of his staffers, the actor would often say that expenditure needed to be reduced.

4. Enmity / Rivalry

Police officials recorded statements of close friends of Sushant, his family members and none of them ever mentioned that the actor had any kind of enmity or rivalry with anyone. Some social media theories hinted at Sushants rivalry with a top Bollywood actor and his protege but when investigated it turned out to be false.

5. Disha Salian Connection

Statements revealed that after June 9 when Disha Salian died, the actor was affected badly, this was because he didn't remember her and each and every story said that she was Sushant's ex-manager. Disha worked for a company that handled Sushants account and she had communicated with him over messages some times but had met only once. Disha's boss Uday Singh Gauri would directly deal with Sushant. When news reports of Disha's death surfaced, Sushant messaged his lawyer asking who Disha was.

6. Health issues/ Depression

Sushant was suffering from severe level depression and one of his psychotherapists even claimed that he suffered from Bipolar Disorder. Police recorded statements of four psychiatrists who had treated Sushant from November 2019 to June 2020. Other than the psychiatrists, psychotherapists statement was also recorded to know the extent of his mental illness. Files and medication used by the late actor were also analysed. Statements of staffers revealed that Sushant had stopped taking medication for a few days before the incident. Statements of staffers also revealed that the actor would complain of seeing some figures in his house or the house being haunted and had even shifted to the Water Stones Club for some days while residing in the earlier residence. The Water Stones Club payments can be seen in his bank statements too. Rhea Chakraborty has told officials in her statement that the couple were holidaying at Florence in Italy in October 2019 when for the first time she witnessed Sushant Singh Rajput being affected due to mental illness.

According to sources, Rhea told the officials that Sushant and she were staying at a 600-year-old heritage hotel in Italy in October 2019 during their Europe trip. The hotel had huge rooms and there were some old paintings on the walls in the room. One such painting was where Saturn was devouring its own child. Rhea was in another room with her brother Showik Chakraborty, but when she returned, she found that Sushant was chanting some mantras using a Rudraksha, and looked visibly shaken.

When Rhea tried asking him what had happened, he said he could see the characters in the painting and was unable to describe it clearly. Rhea and Showik then slept with Sushant in the same room that night. Sushant had been hallucinating about the painting and Rhea somehow held him and consoled him, saying that those were just hallucinations. Since the couple returned to Mumbai, Sushant's condition worsened. Sometimes he would start shouting and screaming, and sometimes, he would start crying. Though Sushant was taking medical help for his condition, which according to Susan Walker, his psychotherapist, was for bipolar disorder, Rhea, who had been with him supporting and helping him all this while, also slipped into depression. On June 8, Sushant told Rhea that she should go back to her home and that it would help her recuperate.

Rhea had also sought the appointment of a psychiatrist for herself. Even after going back to her home, Rhea said she wouldn't step out of her room, until she heard of Sushant's death on June 14.

Sushant Singh Rajput had even messaged Showik Chakraborty and asked about Rhea's well-being on June 10 through SMS.

7. Mobile phone analysis

The Mumbai police being blamed for not sending the late actors mobile phone to the FSL for analysis have said that the phone was sent to the highly equipped Maharashtra Cyber Lab for scanning. From the scan done there, they could analyse messages, details and deleted items too but nothing suspicious was found.

Mumbai police had even mentioned the investigation details in their response to the SC. The CBI team which will probe the FIR against Rhea Chakraborty and others will be arriving in Mumbai shortly.

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