Rhea Chakraborty being questioned by NCB for the second day. Here’s what we know so far
Actor Rhea Chakraborty appeared before the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for questioning for the second straight day on Monday as part of the agency’s probe into a drugs case linked to the investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput in June.
She arrived at the bureau’s office in the Ballard Estate area around 9:30am, escorted by the police.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are also probing various angles surrounding the death of the 34-year-old Rajput.
What will happen today?
Chakraborty would be questioned in the presence of her younger brother Showik, Rajput’s house manager Samuel Miranda, his domestic help Dinesh Sawant and Zaid Vilatra.
Sameer Wankhede, NCB’s zonal director, said the 28-year-old was called again as the questioning could not be completed on Sunday due to her late arrival.
The agency has said it wants to question Rhea and confront her with Showik, Miranda and Sawant. It wants to ascertain their roles in this alleged drug racket after it obtained mobile phone chat records and other electronic data that suggested some banned drugs were allegedly procured by these people.
She was questioned for about six hours by the agency for the first time in this case on Sunday. Before this, she has been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as part of their probe into Rajput’s death.
Her lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, reiterated that she is innocent said hours before her questioning began on Sunday.
“Rhea is ready for arrest as this is a witch hunt and if loving someone is a crime, she will face the consequences of her love. Being innocent, she has not approached any court for an anticipatory bail in all the cases foisted by Bihar police now with CBI, ED and NCB,” Maneshinde said on Sunday.
What has happened so far?
Eight people have been arrested till now by the NCB with six being directly linked to this probe while two were arrested by it when the investigation was launched under criminal sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Abbas Lakhani and Karan Arora were the first men to be arrested by NCB for alleged drug peddling when the probe in the case. According to officials, they reached Zaid Vilatra and Abdel Basit Parihar, who are allegedly linked to this drugs case as they were in touch with Miranda, through them.
Both Lakhani and Arora have been granted bail.
What has NCB said?
NCB, while seeking remand of one of the accused in this case last week, had told a local court that it was looking into “the drug citadel in Mumbai, and especially Bollywood” in this probe. This case has given the NCB an “inkling” into the narcotics network and its penetration in Bollywood or Hindi movie industry, NCB deputy director General Mutha Ashok Jain had told reporters last week.
Officials have said Miranda used to allegedly procure drugs from them on the purported instructions of Showik, agency officials said.
NCB said, in its remand application, Showik had to be confronted “with other accused who are in its custody to uncover the linkages of network which indulged in selling and purchasing drugs”. The agency also said it needed Showik in custody to investigate the allegations against Rhea Chakraborty and Sawant. The NCB said Showik was also needed to verify the financial trail.
According to the NCB, alleged drug peddler Abdel Basit Parihar had said during questioning that he procured drugs from Vilatra and Ebrahim, on Showik’s instructions. He also claimed Showik told him to give drugs to Miranda. NCB officials said Showik’s phone messages include one in which he asked Miranda to pay Vilatra Rs 10,000 for five gram of ‘bud’, a curated form of marijuana.