Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said Mumbai police’s crime branch along with the cyber-crime branch of the Maharashtra police will head the probe.(HT PHOTO)
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said Mumbai police’s crime branch along with the cyber-crime branch of the Maharashtra police will head the probe.(HT PHOTO)

Sushant Singh Rajput death: Maharashtra orders probe into ‘conspiracy to defame state’

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said Mumbai police’s crime branch and cyber-crime branch of the Maharashtra police will conduct the probe
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Surendra P Gangan
UPDATED ON OCT 06, 2020 02:27 PM IST

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday announced an investigation into “the conspiracy to defame Mumbai and Maharashtra police” over actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death while blaming opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for it. He asked the BJP and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to apologise for defaming them.

Deshmukh said Mumbai police’s crime branch and cyber-crime branch of the Maharashtra police will conduct the probe.

Also read: Rhea Chakraborty, brother Showik’s judicial custody in drugs case extended till Oct 20

HT on Tuesday reported the Mumbai’s police’s cyber unit has submitted a report to commissioner Param Bir Singh saying at least 80,000 fake social media accounts were created across nine countries as part of an “orchestrated campaign” to discredit the force and Maharashtra government over the investigation into the death.

Singh said the campaign was run against Mumbai Police to demoralise them.

Rajput, 34, was found dead in his Mumbai home on June 14, setting off speculation about the cause of his death. Mumbai Police called several members of the film industry for questioning before the actor’s family filed a police complaint in Bihar alleging a conspiracy behind the death and blamed his friend, actor Rhea Chakraborty, for it.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Narcotics Control Bureau are probing the case.

A medical team from New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has ruled out the possibility of Rajput’s murder.

Deshmukh cited a Michigan State University report on social media campaign over Rajput’s death and said it found BJP hatched the conspiracy to defame Mumbai and Maharashtra police. Deshmukh said the BJP used “a few people outside the state” as “puppets” to defame Maharashtra. “The study report has stated that SSR [Sushant Singh Rajput] case study reveals the BJP’s hand in hatching the conspiracy theory in the case.”

Deshmukh said a few TV channels were at the forefront of this conspiracy. “Cyber crime cell of the Maharashtra police will investigate the fake accounts created as part of the conspiracy.”

He cited the view of the AIIMS team and said it has endorsed their stand that no poisoning was involved in the death. “The Supreme Court... applauded Mumbai police’s investigation. A few BJP leaders targeted the Mumbai police for the political gain in the Bihar elections. They even crossed the limit and called the Mumbai police mafia.” He said Fadnavis also targeted the Mumbai police, doubting their competence.

BJP rubbished Deshmukh’s charges. “We strongly condemn political and false allegations... The BJP or Devendra Fadnavis will never indulge in any illegal activity. Deshmukh is the most irresponsible home minister Maharashtra has had so far. He should conduct the probe. We are not against it,” said BJP leader Atul Bhatkhalkar.

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