Actor Rhea Chakraborty was questioned for over six hours on Sunday by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the allegations of drug abuse linked to Sushant Singh Rajput's death in June. Ms Chakraborty, 28, appeared before the central agency at its Mumbai office this afternoon and was promptly mobbed by a horde of mediapersons, sparking criticism as many questioned the behaviour of journalists. "Is there any work ethics for media?" National Commission of Women chief Rekha Sharma tweeted.
Ms Chakraborty, who was summoned on Sunday morning, two days after her brother Showik was arrested by the probe agency, has been called in again today.
Visuals showed Ms Chakraborty, wearing a mask, struggling to make her way through the crowd to enter the investigating agency's office amid huge security. Many in the crowd were seen violating government-mandated social distancing norms, which are in place to check the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
"Rhea Chakraborty is ready for arrest... it's a witch hunt. If loving someone is a crime, she'll face consequences. Being innocent, she hasn't approached any court for anticipatory bail in all cases foisted by Bihar Police with CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), ED (Enforcement Directorate) and NCB, " Satish Maneshinde, her lawyer, said on Sunday.
On Saturday, the NCB said Showik Chakraborty "will be confronted with sister" Rhea after the probe agency was given his custody till September 9. Mr Chakraborty has "given so many names with whom he was dealing in drugs", the NCB said in its remand application.
"There are specific roles/ingredients of criminal conspiracy, abetments and various attempts to commit offences," the NCB told a Mumbai court Saturday afternoon, adding "the financial trail of all previous transactions of drug purchase has to be verified".
Rhea Chakraborty, her family and others are being investigated over Sushant Singh Rajput's family's allegations that she mentally harassed the actor and had a role in his death. The NCB on Friday morning raided her Mumbai house; her brother was arrested the same night.
The drug investigation began after WhatsApp chats retrieved from Ms Chakraborty's phone revealed an alleged conversation about procuring drugs between her and a contact saved as "Miranda Sushi" - believed to be Sushant Singh Rajput's house manager Samuel Miranda, who was also arrested by the NCB on Friday.
Indrajit Chakraborty, Rhea Chakraborty's father, on Saturday issued a statement, condemning the arrest of his 24-year-old son.
"Congratulations India, you have arrested my son, I'm sure next on the line is my daughter and I don't know who is next thereafter. You have effectively demolished a middle class family. But of course, for the sake of justice everything is justified. Jai hind," the statement from Lt Col Indrajit Chakraborty (Retd), who has also been questioned by the CBI for days, read.
The case has triggered a huge political row ever since. It also sparked a debate on mental health issues.