Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray today lashed out at "dirty politics" over the Sushant Singh Rajput case after his name popped up in speculative reports and in theories floating online.
In a statement in Marathi, he asserted that it was "not a crime" to have "personal relationships" in the film industry.
"I am Hindu Hridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray's grandson and I want to say I will never do anything to harm the reputation of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and the Thackeray family," he declared in the dramatic statement.
Calling "politics over the dead" an assault on humanity, the 30-year-old strongly denied a "single connection" to the case involving the actor's death on June 14.
"This is dirty politics but I am keeping my calm. The Maharashtra government is fighting a battle against the coronavirus. Some people are unable to accept that we have had some victories, so they have started politicizing the Sushant Singh Rajput case," Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said, adding that personal attacks had been made on him and the Thackeray family.
This is the first time Aaditya Thackeray has responded to speculation dragging him into the Sushant Singh Rajput investigations. Reports suggested that the Maharashtra government, specifically the Mumbai police, were trying to shield a politician connected to Sushant Singh Rajput's friend Rhea Chakraborty, who is accused by the actor's family of transferring money from his account and mentally harassing him.
A photo of the state tourism minister with an actress went viral, with many claiming she was Rhea Chakraborty. The photo was actually of another actor.
"The film industry is an integral part of Mumbai. Several thousand livelihoods depend on this industry. I have personal relationships with some from the industry, it is not a crime," said Thackeray Junior.
Calling Sushant Singh's death "unfortunate and shocking", he said the Maharashtra police had a reputation internationally. "But those who don't believe in the law are making baseless allegations and trying to derail the investigation. Those making baseless allegations...if they have specific information, they should approach the police and it will be investigated," he said.
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, who made a promising debut in 2013 and starred in several acclaimed movies, was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14.
The Mumbai Police said it was suicide and has questioned over 50 people as it investigates allegations that the actor was suffering from depression and had been sidelined because of nepotism, cliques and cut-throat rivalries in the film industry.
Today, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recommended a CBI probe based on the complaint filed by the actor's father KK Singh, who has accused the Mumbai Police of not reacting when he talked about a threat to his son's life months ago.