No witch hunt please: CBI must rise above politicization in probing Sushant Singh Rajput’s death

In a major development in the high profile case of young actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death the Supreme Court has ordered that CBI and CBI alone will be competent to probe the case, which would include not only the Patna FIR but any other FIR related to the case, and which would further require Mumbai Police to hand over all evidence collected so far in the case to CBI. Notably, this is in response to a petition filed by Rajput’s friend and actor Rhea Chakraborty, who had sought transfer of the FIR lodged by Rajput’s father in Patna to Mumbai where the actor died.

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Of course millions beyond the immediate circle of Rajput’s family, friends and colleagues have become invested in this case, as his death has somehow connected with larger social and career anxieties afflicting young Indians. At the same time the case has fallen into a tug of war between Maharashtra and Bihar governments. If the former raised eyebrows when a visiting IPS officer from Bihar was forcibly quarantined by BMC, in the latter case chief minister Nitish Kumar who has been reticent on other urgent issues like the management of floods or Covid has gone on the front foot in the Rajput case.

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CBI must put this politicization behind it and carry out an objective, efficient probe into the actor’s death. This necessarily means there should not be any witch hunting, or arbitrary harassment of various people in the film industry and in his life.

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