Bihar Police will probe the death of Sushant Singh Rajput's former manager Disha Salian, as part of its investigation into a complaint by the actor's father accusing his reported girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, of illegally transferring Rs 15 crore from his son's Mumbai bank account and mentally harassing him.
Ms Salian, 28, allegedly killed herself by jumping off a high-rise in Mumbai's Malad on June 8. Mr Rajput died less than a week later; his body was found at his residence in the city, with the cops confirming that he had died by suicide.
The inquiry into Ms Salian's death will be undertaken by the same cops who have been camped in Mumbai to ascertain if investments made by the two companies set up by Mr Rajput, along with Ms Chakraborty and her brother, are clean.
"We are going to investigate suicide of Sushant Rajput's former manager, Disha Salian, and will also question his friend Siddharth Pithani, who was staying with the actor for the past year," Sanjay Singh, Inspector-General of Police (Patna), told news agency PTI.
Mr Pithani, who has been quoted by news agency ANI as saying that Mr Rajput's family asked him to "say some things" about the Rs 15 crore transaction that he had "no idea" about, has also been identified as the registered user of a mobile SIM used by the actor.
Efforts to contact Mr Pithani have been futile so far, Mr Singh told PTI.
"Our officials are visiting all possible places related to this case. They had also visited Rajput's residence and recreated the scene. In the coming days, more people are likely to be questioned in the case," the Inspector-General of Police (Patna) said.
Inquiries into Sushant Singh Rajput's death have been complicated by parallel investigations being run by cops from Mumbai and Bihar. The Bihar Police team in Mumbai will also get a new leader - Vinay Tiwari, a Superintendent of Police (Patna Central).
In investigating allegations of financial irregularities, Bihar Police have insisted they will follow the money trail. Mumbai Police sources, however, told NDTV that Mr Rajput's family made no mention of such suspicions about Ms Chakraborty or the actor's finances when they first met top officers after his death.
This has led to a turf war with Mumbai Police apparently less than eager to help cops from Bihar with documents, statements and case details. Legal experts have also questioned Bihar Police's jurisdiction as the alleged crime happened in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted on that turf war Sunday evening, writing that Mumbai Police had already begun investigations over the actor's death and criticising the demand for a CBI probe.
"Mumbai Police already investigating allegations about Sushant Singh Rajput's unfortunate alleged suicide. Even if Bihar Police registered an offence in Patna... t has to be investigated, inquired & tried by police & courts within whose jurisdiction the offence is committed. I condemn the demand for the case to be handed to the CBI," he tweeted.
"The case is now being politicised for political gains. Maharashtra Police is inquiring into the case professionally & are competent in digging out the truth, leaving no stone unturned!" he added.
...the offence is committed. I condemn the demand for the @itsSSR case to be handed to #CBI.— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) August 2, 2020
The case is now being politcised for political gains. #MaharashtraPolice is inquiring into the case professionally & are competent in digging out the truth, leaving no stone unturned!
On Friday the Enforcement Directorate added itself to the mix, filing a money laundering case over "suspicious transactions" on the basis of the FIR filed by Bihar Police.
There have also been calls for the entire case to be handed over to the CBI, something the Maharashtra government has refused. The Bihar government has said it is willing to do so if Mr Rajput's family wishes.
However, the CBI, like the Enforcement Directorate, has no jurisdiction unless the Maharashtra government permits it to enter its territory; only an order from the Bihar High Court or Supreme Court can overrule this.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is likely to hear, on August 5, a plea by Rhea Chakraborty that seeks to transfer the financial irregularities case from Patna to Mumbai. The Bihar government intends to try and block this transfer.
Ms Chakraborty, who this week released an emotional video in which she said the "truth shall prevail", has also called for a CBI probe.
With input from ANI, PTI