Sushant death case: Unable to 'locate' Rhea Chakraborty, says Bihar DGP
Patna/New Delhi, Aug 01: The Bihar police chief on Saturday said it was unable to 'locate' actress Rhea Chakraborty named in its FIR in the abetment to suicide case in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput while her plea before the Supreme Court for transfer of the probe from Patna to Mumbai is listed for hearing on August 5.
A four-member Bihar police team is in Mumbai since Wednesday to probe the FIR registered in Patna against Chakraborty, 28, and six others including her family members based on the complaint filed by Rajput’s father. Krishna Kumar Singh (74) had lodged the complaint for the alleged abetment to suicide of his son on Tuesday.
As the probe into Rajput's death escalated into a face-off between Bihar and Maharashtra governments ahead of Assembly polls in the eastern state, BJP leader and Bihar's deputy chief minister Sushil Modi targeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra is under pressure from Congress-funded Bollywood mafia and that is why hell bent on saving elements linked to the actor's death case," Sushil Modi alleged in a tweet in Hindi.
"Bihar government will go to any extent to bring justice to Sushant." Thackeray on Friday said he deplored attempts to question the efficiency of the Mumbai Police in handling the probe.
Rajput, 34, was found hanging in his suburban Bandra apartment in Mumbai on June 14. Bihar's Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey said the state police has not yet been able to "locate" Chakraborty, who was Rajput's girlfriend.
A police team member, who did not be identified, said earlier in the day in Mumbai that the actress was "under our watch".
"We are unable to locate her (Rhea Chakraborty). We are trying to locate her," Pandey said in reply to a question by media persons in Patna whether the Bihar police has served any notice to the actress to meet and talk to her in connection with its FIR against her.
Asked whether any lookout notice has been issued against the actress or the Bihar police trying to arrest her, Pandey said, "this is quite an early stage of investigation".
"I cannot tell you everything about the investigation. But, we will leave no stone unturned to ensure justice for Sushant Singh Rajput who was not only the son of Bihar but of Hindustan. Entire nation's sentiments and emotions are attached with him," he said.
As the chorus for a probe by the CBI into the case grew louder, Pandey also asked why should the state seek a probe by the central agency when its police was capable enough to investigate the matter.
He, however, said that if Rajput's father feels dissatisfied with the Bihar police investigations he can ask for a CBI probe.
A Bihar minister also said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would definitely act if a demand for the premier investigating agency to step in comes from the family of Rajput.
On Saturday, the Bihar police team visited the Bandra police station. When asked whether Chakraborty would be interrogated, an official of the Bihar police said, "It is not required as of now. But she is under our watch."
Another member of the visiting team said they have sent a notice to Chakraborty under the relevant CrPC sections, asking her to cooperate with the police in the probe. He also said the Mumbai police was cooperating with them in the investigations.
A Mumbai police official said the visiting team has recorded the statements of six persons as part of the probe.
"Till now, the police team from Bihar has met the late actor's friends, colleagues and relatives. They have recorded the statements of six persons-- Rajput's sister, who stays in Versova, former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande, a cook, his friends and colleagues," the official said.
The police team is also likely to question the members of Rajput's staff, he said. "They gathered information about Rajput's various bank accounts and also visited the banks to look into the financial transactions," he said. As per the cause list uploaded on the Supreme Court’s website, the transfer petition filed by Chakraborty will come up for hearing before a bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy on Wednesday.
The state governments of Bihar and Maharashtra have already filed separate caveats in the top court seeking to be heard before any order is passed on Chakraborty's plea. The father of the late actor has also filed a caveat in the apex court.
Caveat is a pre-emptive legal measure taken to ensure that a party does not get any favourable order without a notice or a hearing accorded to the other side.
In her plea filed in the apex court, Chakraborty has alleged that Rajput’s father has used his "influence" in dragging her name into the case and accusing her of abetment of suicide of his son. In Patna, Sanjay Kumar Jha, the Bihar Water Resources minister and a confidante of Nitish Kumar, said the chief minister and his government are committed to bringing justice to the actor's family and would take every step towards that end.
"The chief minister will definitely act if a demand for a CBI inquiry comes from the family of Rajput," Jha told PTI. Jha, who was approached by the actor's family for help, said people want the truth to come out and those found guilty punished.
"It is only now that a fair investigation has begun after the registration of an FIR in Patna on the written complaint of Rajput's father," he said. DGP Pandey said the Mumbai Police is assisting the visiting team amid reports there was a tussle between the Bihar Police and the local police.
Pandey said the Bihar Police wants all medico-legal evidence related to the case handed over to it, asserting that it will bring out the truth at the earliest.
The Bihar Police also wants details of those who were examined by the Mumbai Police and what they have said in their statements, he added. “Our team had a meeting with Mumbai's Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) on Friday evening. The DCP assured of cooperation... Initially, there was some confusion and non-cooperation,” he added.
Stating that the allegations of Mumbai Police's misbehaviour with the Bihar Police personnel were "rumours", Pandey said the local police helped the visiting team to reach its destinations in the city for investigations.
Replying to a question on demands for a CBI probe, he said, “Why would we ask for a CBI probe. Bihar Police is capable enough to probe the case. If needed, an IPS-rank officer may be sent to Mumbai to lead the investigation.”