The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday arrested Siddhartha Pithani, a flatmate of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, in a drug case linked to the Bollywood actor’s death last year. Pithani was arrested from Hyderabad and brought to Mumbai on a transit warrant obtained from a court in the Telangana capital. Later in the day, he was produced before a Mumbai court which remanded him in the NCB custody till June 1. Pithani was Sushant’s friend and was also staying with the late actor at his Bandra residence in suburban Mumbai, where SSR was found dead on June 14, 2020. Pithani had told the police he was among the first to see Sushant hanging from the ceiling in his apartment on June 14 last year. His statement was recorded by the Mumbai Police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and the NCB, the agencies which were investigating various aspects related to Sushant’s death. In his statement, Pithani had given the sequence of events at the flat to investigators between June 8 and June 14, 2020.
How Siddharth met Sushant Singh Rajput
Siddharth Pithani used to work with a graphic design agency as a creative director in 2017. While working in the agency, Pithani had got in touch with Sushant’s close friend Ayush Sharma, who had asked Pithani to come to Mumbai for “better opportunities". In April 2019, Pithani came to Mumbai where he met Sushant.
How Siddharth became Sushant’s flatmate
Siddharth had told the federal agencies that Ayush took him to Sushant’s house in Capri Heights. Following this, Sushant’s manager Akanksha reportedly asked him to work on Sushant’s project Dreams 150. Siddharth was told that his daily needs would be taken care of.
Why Siddharth has been arrested
The alleged role of Pithani in the drug case, that emerged post the actor’s death, came to light during the NCB’s investigation, and hence he was arrested. A team of the NCB, led by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, had launched a search for Pithani who was traced in Hyderabad. Earlier, notices under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) were served to Pithani but he did not join the investigation. He was formally arrested under relevant sections of the NDPS Act and produced before a court in Hyderabad which granted his transit warrant, facilitating his travel to Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Sushant’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, is one of the accused in the drug case and she is currently out on bail. The NCB started its probe in the case on the basis of some WhatsApp chats having reference to drugs. Besides Rhea Chakraborty, the NCB had arrested her brother Showik, some staff members of Sushant, and a few others under various sections of the NDPS Act. Most of the accused are currently out on bail.
(With inputs from PTI)