The Congress in West Bengal, actor Rhea Chakraborty’s home state, today took out a rally in support of the actor who has been charged in alleged drugs-related case linked to the death of her friend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The protest to show support to Ms Chakraborty adds to the political row over the case. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had been instrumental in asking the centre to let the Central Bureau of Investigation take over the case from the Mumbai Police, after Mr Rajput’s family in Bihar filed a First Information Report in Patna against Ms Chakraborty.
The ruling alliance in Maharashtra, where the BJP is in the opposition, had defended the Mumbai Police probe and hit back at allegations of weak investigation.
“Political conspiracy and vindictive behaviour against Rhea Chakraborty, the daughter of Bengal, will not be tolerated,” the Congress tweeted today.
“The protest rally was taken out from provincial Congress office to Wellington junction on the instructions of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, president of the West Bengal Congress,” the party tweeted.
Ms Chakraborty is in Mumbai’s Byculla jail for now. A court rejected bail on Friday after hearing arguments from the actor as well as the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the agency that arrested her while investigating drugs charges.
The ruling NDA in Bihar on Tuesday had said Ms Chakraborty’s arrest by the NCB was “an important step” in the direction of securing justice for the Patna-born actor, whose death has struck an emotional chord with the people of the state.
The Janata Dal (United)-BJP alliance also criticised Ms Chakraborty for filing a “baseless” FIR against the sisters of the dead actor and questioned the “support” extended to her by the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, for “reasons the Shiv Sena knows better”.
“In the (Shiv) Sena mouthpiece Saamna, (Sanjay) Raut had been coming out in support of (Rhea) Chakraborty and making appalling observations about the bereaved family of (Sushant Singh) Rajput. This shows that the Shiv Sena did not want that the truth be out in the case, for reasons it knows better,” BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said in a statement, according to news agency PTI.
Congress MLA Manoj Chakraborty today alleged Ms Chakraborty’s arrest was linked to politics in Bihar. “Was it orchestrated by the centre with an eye on the Bihar polls?” he said.
On Wednesday, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, had said Mr Rajput was an Indian actor, but the “BJP turned him into a Bihari actor” only to score electoral points. “Rhea Chakraborty has been indicted not for abetment of suicide or murder or any economic offences; she has been arrested under NDPS, ludicrous,” he said, referring to the law against narcotics.
Sources said the NCB did not want to take Ms Chakraborty into custody because it could “weaken” her confession. The NCB told the court that her confession was voluntary and made while she was not in custody.
However, the actor’s legal team is still challenging the confession statements, saying her questioning over three days for eight hours each was like custodial interrogation.