Ex-DGP Pandey to cash in on Sushant suicide ‘mystery’; to contest in elections

Venkat Parsa

New Delhi: Bihar Director-General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey quit service, with eye on entering the electoral fray in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections. He is all set to be the BJP-JD(U) Candidate.

Gupteshwar Pandey is credited with making Hindi film star Sushant Singh Rajput death by suicide into a major election issue in Bihar. He is responsible for registering the First Information Report (FIR) filed by Sushant Singh’s father, against Hindi film star Rhea Chakraborty.

It became the basis for handing over the case to CBI, even before the Supreme Court could commence hearing. The Supreme Court also approved handing over the case to the CBI.

Although the scene of crime was in Mumbai in Maharashtra, registering FIR in Patna in Bihar raised jurisdictional issues. The Mumbai Police was investigating the case, examining the scene of incidence of suicide and forensic evidence, when Bihar Police stepped in to convert an unfortunate suicide into murder mystery drama.

Sushant Singh Rajput forced Rhea Chakraborty to leave his place on June 8. Rhea cannot obviously be linked to Sushant’s death. On the other hand, Sushant’s sister came to his place. But mysteriously, she left him on June 13 and Sushant died on June 14.  

Now, Sushant Singh Rajput death is no longer a matter of an individual tragedy. It has since been turned into an emotive election plank for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections due in October-November. Rajput is now an Icon symbolizing Bihari Pride. An attack on Sushant Singh Rajput is an assault on Bihari Pride. This is how an emotive election campaign is being built for the Bihar Assembly Elections by the ruling BJP-Janata Dal (United) NDA for the Bihar Assembly elections now round the corner.   

The 34-year-old Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Bandra Apartment in Mumbai on June 14. He died of hanging. The sad and unfortunate death of Sushant Singh Rajput was converted into a full-fledged murder mystery, with eye on Bihar Assembly elections by the ruling BJP-JD (U) Combine.   

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Social Media platforms were abuzz with gossip of a possible role of India’s Most Wanted Criminal Dawood Ibrahim having a possible role through his lackeys in Mumbai, linking Rhea Chakrabarthi to the death, hinting that she took away money from Sushant, hinting at abetment to suicide by Sushant.  

All this is being turned into election issue, as it is the essence of BJP Agenda. 

Rhea Chakraborty, already arrested, is being investigated by Agencies like CBI, Narcotics Control Bureau and Enforcement Directorate. The ED is probing the money trail of Rs 15 crore that does not exist. A production house promised Sushant Singh Rs 15 crore. The amount is neither in Sushant Rajput’s bank account nor in that of Rhea Chakraborty.     

Sushant Singh Rajput’s father filed an FIR in Patna, blaming Rhea Chakraborty of taking away Rs 15 crore and compelled him to take the extreme step of suicide. Apparently, it was a promise made and not money paid. This was stretched too far to suggest that Rhea took the money and drugged Sushant Rajput and compelled him to take the extreme step. This beats anybody’s comprehension.  

The Mumbai Police, which investigated the matter, concluded that Rajput had committed suicide. It had registered an Accidental Death Record (ADR) in the matter and had investigated the Hindi filmdom professional rivalry angle, summoning leading production houses and even asking their chiefs, such as Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mahesh Bhatt, to join the probe.  

Not satisfied with it, the ruling BJP at the Centre is pushing for investigation in a different direction, painting Rhea Chakraborty as the villain.  

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The BJP-Janata Dal (United) NDA Government, headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has had three consecutive terms in office, completing 15 years straight in office. Apart, the Nitish Kumar Government faced lot of criticism for its role during the Lockdown.   

When Nitish Kumar assumed office for the first time in 2005, he declared that all Bihar Migrant Workers will be brought to Bihar and given jobs. During the Lockdown, when Migrant Workers were dropped at Uttar Pradesh borders, they had to walk back to their native villages hundreds of kilometres away. That created a huge criticism for the BJP-JD (U) Alliance Government. The mismanagement of the Bihar Government during the flood havoc, besides during the pandemic, has also created lot of disgruntlement among the victims.   

At such a delicate juncture, the BJP-JD (U) has hit upon an emotive issue like Sushant Singh Rajput death. The NDA hopes that it can turn the tide of 15-year anti-incumbency against it.   

The NDA vote bank is the non-Yadav, Most Backward Classes (MBC) like the Kurmis, to which Nitish Kumar belongs. Plus, the BJP has the support of the upper-castes. Since Sushant Singh Rajput is an upper-caste Bihari, the NDA decided to convert Rajput death into an election issue.     

The Narcotics Control Bureau made a dramatic entry and investigated whether Rhea Chakraborti had any role in the purchase of drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput. Finally, Rhea Chakraborty was arrested for possessing 59 grams of drugs.     

Significantly, the Sadhus at Kumbh in Allahabad have more drugs in their possession than this miniscule quantity.  

 Venkat Parsa is a senior journalist and writer based in New Delhi

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