Actor Rhea Chakraborty has been reportedly arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau under sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985. The 28-year-old, who has been under scrutiny since the death of her boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR) on June 14, has also been subjected to medical test on Tuesday, according to media reports. She is to be presented before a magistrate (via video conferencing) by 7.30 pm today.
Although Rhea had earlier denied consuming drugs, she had stated that SSR used to use marijuana. Her brother Showik Chakraborty and two members of the late actors personal staff were arrested last week in connection with this same case. According to News18, the NCB is likely to plea before the court to keep Rhea and others connected to the case in police remand for further questioning essential for breaking the drug cartel.
The last few weeks have witnessed trial of Rhea by a larger chunk of media, which was widely seen as misogynistic and politicised. Anyone and everyone who were voicing their support of Rhea, or arguing the case for her constitutional rights, was also trolled on social media.
Interestingly, the events since SSR’s death three months ago have taken a lot of turns. Initially, it was reported that the late actor had suffered mental health issues, which is what led to the suicide. This encouraged conversations on the topic of mental health – which is still considered a taboo in India.
However, the focus was taken away from this serious issue, when actor Kangana Ranaut – who agrees to have never even met SSR - accused many Bollywood big-wigs of driving the actor to suicide by promoting nepotism and denying chances in films for ‘outsiders.’ Very soon, nepotism in Bollywood started garnering attention even more than the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic did.
Then came statements from SSR’s former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande, who accused Rhea of abetting his suicide. Television channels as well as ‘social media warriors’ took it up, and started their own trial of Rhea, accusing her of even doing black magic. The issue has been highly politicised too, with the BJP in SSR’s home-State Bihar using his picture and ‘Justice for SSR’ slogans in the party’s posters. Interestingly, the same political party had demanded the ban of SSR’s movie Kedarnath (2018) for promoting ‘Love Jihad,’ as the film revolved around the love story between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy.
As this story goes to press, social media and many television channels are exploding, celebrating the arrest of Rhea Chakraborty – who has not been proven guilty of SSR’s death. Although this is not the first time a celebrity is accused of drug abuse, and although the country has more pressing concerns like the COVID-19 pandemic, heating border dispute with China and a sinking economy, ‘Warriors of Justice for SSR’ have successfully kept the larger population entertained, even though it comes at the price of a young woman’s future and basic human rights.
(Edited by Varnika Gupta)