Abdel Basit Parihar, the 23-year-old Bandra resident arrested on Thursday as part of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s ongoing probe into the alleged drug angle in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, was produced before a metropolitan magistrate on Friday and remanded in custody till September 9.
Parihar’s arrest followed that of another accused Zaid Vilatra. The agency claimed that Vilatra’s interrogation revealed his connection with Parihar.
During Parihar’s questioning, he revealed he would allegedly procure drugs from Vilatra and Kaizan Ebrahim on the instructions of Showik Chakraborty for Sushant Singh Rajput’s house manager, Samual Miranda, the agency said in its application seeking Parihar’s custody till September 11.
The agency claimed there were several instances when Parihar arranged drugs, and that he was in regular contact with Chakraborty. It also claimed that “he is an active member of drug syndicate connected with high society personalities and drug suppliers”.
NCB on August 28, arrested Abbas Ali Lakhani, 21, allegedly with 46 grams of Ganja. On the basis of information given by Lakhani, his alleged supplier, Karn Arora, was arrested with 13 grams of ganja.
Later, on the information provided by two, NCB arrested Vilatra. Parihar is the fourth person to be arrested in the case.
Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai apartment on June 14 in what police said appeared to be an open-and-shut case of suicide. The post-mortem report ruled out any foul play. After a two-week quiet, a political controversy erupted over the death, as a Bihar police team constituted to probe the case on a complaint by the actor’s family alleged it got no cooperation from its Mumbai counterpart.
The jurisdictional turf war spilled into the legal arena as the Supreme Court was approached to decide if CBI could investigate the matter. The issue became deeply acrimonious and divisive at multiple levels — between the Rajput and Chakraborty families, between the actors’ respective sets of fans, between the governments of the two states in question, and between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its former ally Shiv Sena — and left the entertainment industry split vertically.
The case opened up a raging debate in and about the industry, devolving into a war of words and allegations between two camps largely made up of “insiders” (with generational links to Bollywood) and “outsiders” (first-generation actors and filmmakers). Chakraborty and her supporters alleged that the Bihar government was trying to hijack the emotive issue for political capital ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections.