Patna, June 30
Actor Shekhar Suman on Tuesday claimed that there was “more than what meets the eye” in the suicide of rising Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, and made a strong pitch for a CBI inquiry into the case.
Suman, who recently launched a campaign ‘Justice For Sushant Forum’, was addressing a press conference at the residence of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, a day after he met Rajput’s bereaved father at his residence here.
“I strongly believe that Sushant’s death is not an open and shut case of suicide,” asserted Suman who claimed to have closely followed the investigation trail and pointed towards “missing links” like absence of a suicide note and facts like misplacement of a duplicate key to the house, and change of SIM card by the actor “50 times in a month”.
Suman clarified that he was not insisting that the deceased actor’s death was “not a case of suicide” but added that even if the 34-year-old had taken his own life, “those guilty of abetment must be identified and brought to justice”.
Asked about allegations levelled by many Bollywood insiders that the Patna-born actor was at the receiving end of “nepotism” in the film industry, Suman—who hails from the Bihar capital—replied in the affirmative.
“Besides Shah Rukh Khan and I, Sushant was the only one to have started off as a TV actor and achieve success on the big screen thereafter. A self-respecting man who did not believe in massaging egos of big shots, he must have become an eyesore for many,” remarked the 66-year-old.
He, however, refused to take a name when asked if he suspected anyone of giving a short shrift to the young actor, saying “it would be wrong to do so unless I was armed with evidence. And this is precisely the reason I am pressing the demand for a CBI inquiry”.
Suman, who had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Patna Sahib on a Congress ticket, lamented that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not agree to meet him when he sought an appointment to garner his support in the matter.
“I was told he is not meeting people because of COVID-19 scare. Tejashwi had no fears on this account and nor did I, so I asked him to extend a helping hand and he obliged,” he said, with the leader of the opposition seated by his side.
Tejashwi Yadav, on his part, claimed that he was supporting the cause “not in the capacity of an opposition leader but as a young citizen of Bihar. I started off as a cricketer and I am aware that people from our state are discriminated against in all fields”.
He said that during his visit to Rajput’s residence last week he met his “cousin Neeraj Bablu, a BJP MLA, and asked him to press for a CBI inquiry with the assurance that we would support it wholeheartedly, our political differences notwithstanding”.
He also reiterated the demand that the upcoming film city project at Rajgir, in the chief minister’s home district of Nalanda, be named after the deceased actor.
“As chief minister, he (Nitish Kumar) is the leader of not just his party or his government but all residents of Bihar. I would request him to step out and offer much-needed consolation to the actor’s bereaved family,” Yadav added. PTI