Fans of Sushant Singh Rajput today marked a year to the day the popular Bollywood actor was found dead at 34 in his Mumbai apartment -- a tragedy that left the country in shock in the middle of a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. The Mumbai Police, which first investigated the death, said the actor had died by suicide.
But amid allegations by Sushant Rajput's family, friends and fans, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate and others launched investigations into the death and various angles linked to it.
"The CBI investigation related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput is still continuing and all the aspects of the case are being looked into meticulously," a CBI official was quoted saying by ANI today.
The film fraternity, united by grief, poured their hearts out on social media on the first death anniversary of the actor.
Director Abhishek Kapoor, who gave Sushant his big Bollywood break with Kai Po Che, wrote: "1 year today... Still numb. #omnamahshivaya #sushantsinghrajput #superstar forever."
1 yr today..Still numb #OmNamahShivaya ????@itsSSR#SushanthSinghRajput#superstar forever pic.twitter.com/hKsmGeGT31— Abhishek Kapoor (@Abhishekapoor) June 14, 2021
"Miss you, your questions and everything we spoke about. From the stars to the things unknown, you showed me the world like I had never seen it before. I hope you've found your peace my curious sweet SSR...Om Shanti," wrote Bhumi Pednekar, her Sonchiriya co-star, in a moving post.
Last year, soon after the actor's death, his father, KK Singh, filed a case against his son's girlfriend, actor Rhea Chakraborty, accusing her of mentally harassing Sushant Rajput, taking his money and driving him to suicide.
The investigations soon became mired in a series of controversies, including a politically-charged stand-off between Bihar and Mumbai Police, and devolved into a multi-agency probe that saw the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau all file separate cases.
Rhea Chakraborty, in an interview to NDTV last year, said she had informed Mr Rajput's family about the actor's depression and yet they left him.
"I still cannot believe it. He was absolutely the best guy and the most beautiful person I have ever met. He wanted to do charity. He was the greatest boyfriend ever. He looked after me. He always advised me. I was proud of him, of how much he has achieved coming from a small town. We bonded over this. Since I am also an outsider and have grown up all across India. Our relationship was like a movie, like a fairy tale. But yes, we had problems," Ms Chakraborty had told NDTV after a police case was filed against her in the actor's death case.
Ms Chakraborty was arrested over drugs-related charges and later released on bail.
Last month the Narcotics Bureau, which is probing alleged links between drug smuggling and the film industry, arrested Sushant Rajput's roommate - Siddharth Pithani - who was among four people present at the actor's home when he was found dead.
Recently, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of a movie - 'Nyay: The Justice', - based on the the late actor's life.
Mr Rajput, who became a household name with his hit television series "Pavitra Rishta", debuted in films in 2013 with the critically-acclaimed "Kai Po Che!" based on Chetan Bhagat's bestselling book "The Three Mistakes of My Life".
The movie catapulted Mr Rajput into the big league and he went on to do several films. He also played MS Dhoni in the former India cricket team skipper's biopic.
He played the eponymous role of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! in the 2015 thriller. He had a supporting role in Aamir Khan's 2014 hit PK. In 2018, Mr Rajput starred in Kedarnath opposite debutante Sara Ali Khan.
Born in Patna, Mr Rajput studied engineering but dropped out to pursue an acting career.