The Bihar government is willing to order a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death if his family requests the state to do so, sources have said. The actor's family had filed a cheating case against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said he is open to recommending the CBI probe into Mr Rajput's death if the actor's father wants it and requests the state government for it.
The investigation has flared into a tug of war between the Bihar and Mumbai Police, while the Enforcement Directorate, which probes financial crimes, filed a money laundering case against Ms Chakraborty, also an actor, and her family.
"The Chief Minister will definitely act if demand for a CBI inquiry comes from the family of Rajput," said Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, who's a close aide of Nitish Kumar, according to news agency PTI.
Nitish Kumar's willingness to recommend a CBI probe a month after the actor's death comes amid criticism from Rajputs in Bihar, mostly the youth, who are angry over the issue.
The clamour for transferring the police probe to the CBI is growing. Ms Chakraborty on Friday issued a statement on video, refuting the allegations against her, saying, "Truth will prevail".
Her statement came hours after the ED filed the money laundering case based on a First Information Report (FIR) by Mr Rajput's father KK Singh against Ms Chakraborty and her family. The police complaint mentions "suspicious" transactions in tranches up to Rs 15 crore.
Ms Chakraborty and some others are expected to be called for questioning in the case soon, ED sources have said.
The investigation into the death of the actor will follow the money trail, the Bihar Police has said.
Mr Rajput created two companies with Ms Chakraborty and her brother as directors, the police said. The registered addresses of the two firms are a flat in Raigad's Ulwe town in Maharashtra, owned by Ms Chakraborty's father, investigators have said.
The Bihar Police are checking how money transferred from the actor's account was used. A police team visited several banks in Mumbai and looked into transactions and investments of the companies.
The investigation focusses on whether the investments made by the actor and his girlfriend were clean.
"For a good 45 days, they (Mumbai Police) did not do anything to unravel the mystery shrouding Rajput's death, except for using the time to indulge in photo-op and event management... and now when the Bihar Police team is doing a sincere probe they are creating hurdles for them," said Mr Jha, state Water Resources Minister.
The Mumbai Police are conducting a detailed investigation into other angles like professional rivalry and unfair treatment, leading to the actor being sidelined. They have also looked into his finances.
The Bihar government is already supporting the bereaved family in court, with a caveat in the Supreme Court blocking Ms Chakraborty's efforts to transfer the case against her to Mumbai.