As SC Orders CBI Probe Into Sushant’s Death, “Fans” Harass Docs Who Did the Autopsy at Cooper Hospital


As SC Orders CBI Probe Into Sushant’s Death, “Fans” Harass Docs Who Did the Autopsy at Cooper Hospital

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The scandal of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide continues to sweep up anyone with even a remote association with the case. While the Supreme Court has ordered an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation, there is an ongoing witch hunt being conducted by overzealous news anchors and rabid keyboard warriors in parallel to the official investigation. Now, the doctors at Mumbai’s Cooper Hospital who conducted Rajput’s autopsy have been caught in the crosshairs of these underqualified vigilantes, who have been incessantly harassing and threatening the doctors on their private contact numbers and calling up the hospital landline to leave abusive messages, according to a report by Mumbai Mirror.

The report includes a confirmation from Pinakin Gujjar, the dean of Cooper Hospital, that five of the doctors on the staff are being targeted over phone calls as well as online, and that he has been facing his share of abuse as well. Dr Shailesh Mohite, the Medico-legal Association of Maharashtra’s president, objected to the trolling campaign, saying that those who had issue with the autopsy report pursue legal options, rather than resorting to harassment of this nature.

Given the mindset of the trolls who resort to harassing those they believe were complicit in Rajput’s death, the abuse the doctors are facing is regrettable but also predictable. Earlier this month, a man with no connection to the case had to switch off his phone because his number was similar to Rajput’s ex-girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, and was getting bombarded with similar threats and vulgarities. And since the self-proclaimed warriors for justice don’t seem to trust the Indian justice system, they descend on the unfortunate targets in an online mob. The doctors are victims of their numbers being leaked online alongside unverified allegations that they accepted bribes to write off Rajput’s death as a suicide.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who has made the campaign to bring Rajput’s killers (if such people even exist) to justice his pet issue, had also pointed the finger of suspicion at the doctors at Cooper Hospital. He claimed that a TV news channel’s interview with ambulance staff, where they shared details about the condition of Rajput’s body, hinted at a cover-up by doctors at the hospital. Now, it appears as if the online mob has picked up Swamy’s cue, and begun its targeted harassment campaign.

What was a tragic story of the Hindi film industry losing a promising talent has become an ugly, chaotic media circus where even doctors with tenuous connections to the case are becoming victims.