Sushant Singh Rajput case: Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh claims BJP behind discrediting Mumbai Police, orders probe
The Maharashtra home minister, pointing to the AIIMS report that ruled out murder in the late actor's death, demanded an apology from those who 'defamed' the state
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday, alleging that BJP leaders were behind 'discrediting' the Mumbai police investigation into the Sushant Singh Rajput case, said the crime branch and state cybercrime unit would investigate "the conspiracy to defame Mumbai and Maharashtra Police".
The state home minister, while levelling his allegations, cited a study by researchers at the University of Michigan.
As per the study, titled 'Anatomy of a Rumour: Social media and the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput', the Mumbai Police was “targeted by various stakeholders, but particularly by BJP politicians”, in proposing a ‘murder’ alternative to the ‘suicide’ narrative.
The study also claimed that BJP leaders were much more aggressive than the Congress party in discussing murder, rather than suicide. “We find that although both parties have roughly the same number of known politicians talking about the subject (3,03 Congress politicians versus 3,478 BJP politicians), we find that the BJP is almost twice as voluminous in its tweeting–61,196 tweet compared to INC’s 32,406,” the study concluded.
As per Hindustan Times, Deshmukh also said that a few TV channels were at the forefront of this conspiracy. “Cybercrime cell of the Maharashtra police will investigate the fake accounts created as part of the conspiracy,” he told the newspaper.
Deshmukh, referring to the AIIMS report which ruled out murder in the late actor's death, also demanded an apology from those who "defamed" the state of Maharashtra.
The medical board of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS) last week ruled out murder in Rajput's death, and termed it "a case of hanging and death by suicide". Rajput, 34, was found hanging in his apartment in suburban Bandra on 14 June.
The Mumbai Police had probed the matter initially before the CBI began its investigation into the case in August following a ruling by the Supreme Court. The high-profile case also saw a tussle between the Maharashtra and Bihar police.
"Maharashtra was battling COVID-19 . At such a time, a conspiracy was hatched to defame Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Maharashtra," Deshmukh told reporters in Mumbai.
यामुळे आता भाजपने राज्यातील जनतेची माफी मागावी. पाच वर्षे राज्य पोलिसांचं नेतृत्व केल्यानंतरही विरोधी पक्षनेते @Dev_Fadnavis यांनी मुंबई पोलिसांच्या तपासावर अविश्वास दाखवला. आता महाराष्ट्राची बदनामी करणारे बिहारचे माजी #DGP @ips_gupteshwar यांच्या प्रचाराला ते जाणार का? (२/२) pic.twitter.com/OfhME0A6Tx
— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) October 6, 2020
"...some parties tried to defame Maharashtra, Mumbai Police. They should apologise to Maharashtra or else, the people of Maharashtra will not forgive them," the minister said.
He also asked Devendra Fadnavis, who is the BJP's in-charge of the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls, whether he would campaign for former Bihar police chief and JD(U) leader Gupteshwar Pandey, who he claimed had "defamed" Maharashtra and Mumbai Police in connection with the case.
Deshmukh's comments come just a day after Shiv Sena also demanded an apology from politicians and news channels which "defamed" Mumbai Police in connection with the same case.
In an editorial of its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said truth finally prevailed in the actor's death case, and alleged that it was a conspiracy to malign Maharashtra's image using the episode. It also said the Maharashtra government should file a defamation case against those who were part of the conspiracy.
"The politicians and news channels which bark like dogs, who defamed the Mumbai Police and questioned its probe, must apologise to Maharashtra now," the editorial said.
With inputs from PTI
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