Over 2,500 individuals and 60 organisations, including Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde, Anurag Kashyap and Aditi Mittal, have signed in an open letter to the Indian news media against the media trial and "witch-hunt" of actor Rhea Chakraborty, who is in the centre of the investigations in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case and is now in jail in a drugs case.
The frenzied coverage of the case against Ms Chakraborty, 28, and mobbing of the actor and her family by sections of the media have been widely criticised by Bollywood personalities and a large section of social media users.
The letter, addressed to the "news media of India", begins with a question: "We, are worried about you. Are you feeling ok?"
"We know you can be different - because we have seen you be kind and respectful to the Salman Khans and Sanjay Dutts of this world, urging us to think of their families, fans and careers. But, when it comes to a young woman who has not even been proven to commit any crime, you have assassinated her character, egged an online mob on demonise her and her family, fuelled wrongful demands and called her arrest your victory," the open letter states.
Images of Ms Chakraborty pushed and shoved by media crews, with no regard for social distancing, have drawn widespread condemnation. The signatories of the open letter said the news media chose to "endlessly violate her privacy and work overtime on false accusations and moralistic innuendo for a drama of 'Rhea ko phasao'".
The Narcotics Control Bureau is investigating charges of drug-dealing and use based on chats found on the phone of Rhea Chakraborty.
Ms Chakraborty, who is in a Mumbai jail, has been accused of organising drugs for Mr Rajput. The anti-drugs agency called her "an active member of a drugs syndicate".
Many Bollywood celebrities have also come out in support of Rhea Chakraborty, with stars like Vidya Balan condemning the "media circus" and demanding #JusticeForRhea on their Instagram profiles.