The Mumbai Police on Tuesday said they have registered two first information reports under the Information Technology Act against social media account holders and fake accounts in connection with the investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, ANI reported.
While the first FIR was lodged for defaming Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and the force, the second was registered for using a morphed image of the official Twitter account of the police chief, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (cyber cell) Rashmi Karandikar.
The decision came after an All India Institute of Medical Sciences panel confirmed that the actor died by suicide, ruling out all theories of murder. Hours after the panel’s report, Mumbai Police Commissioner Singh said that they were vindicated by the findings and claimed that “some vested interests” had criticised their investigation without knowing anything about it.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. Many were of the view that Rajput was killed.
The police have reportedly identified more than 80,000 fake accounts created on various social media platforms to discredit them and the Maharashtra government over the ongoing investigation, according to Hindustan Times.
A police report showed that the posts on these accounts were uploaded from different countries such as Romania, Italy, Slovenia, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Slovenia, Indonesia, Thailand and France.
“We identified the posts in foreign languages because of the hashtags used like #justiceforsushant #sushantsinghrajput and #SSR,” a senior Indian Police Service officer told the Hindustan Times. “We are in the process of verifying more accounts.”
The police chief said the accounts were created to derail their inquiry.
The campaign was run against Mumbai police just to demoralise us at a time when 84 policemen had died due to the pandemic and over 6,000 men were infected with the virus. This was a motivated campaign with vested interest just to malign the image of Mumbai police and derail our line of investigation. Multiple fake accounts on social media were created to target Mumbai police with abusive tones. Our cyber cell is conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and all those found violating the law will be prosecuted under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act
— Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh
On the AIIMS report, Singh reiterated that they had carried out the investigation “very professionally”. The Shiv Sena had also on Monday sought an apology from news channels and politicians, who defamed the Mumbai Police and questioned their investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
The party alleged that there was a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the Maharashtra government, adding that a defamation case must be filed against those who were a part of it.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had taken over the inquiry from the Bihar Police in an abetment to suicide case filed by the actor’s father KK Singh in Patna against actor Rhea Chakraborty and her family.
After a drug angle emerged in the case, the Narcotics Control Bureau arrested Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty for their alleged role in procuring drugs for Rajput. The agency described Rhea Chakraborty as an “active member of a drug syndicate”. Her arrest led to the questioning of several high-profile actors, including Deepika Padukone, in a widening drugs probe.
Besides this, the Enforcement Directorate is also investigating money laundering charges in the case.