What’s a “Psychological Autopsy”? Before Sushant Singh, Sunanda Pushkar Underwent One

Bollywood

What’s a “Psychological Autopsy”? Before Sushant Singh, Sunanda Pushkar Underwent One

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Two months into the investigation surrounding actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the internet has been full of conspiracy theories. But little concrete evidence has been offered to suggest what transpired in the days leading to the actor taking his own life.

The CBI, which took over the probe last week has now announced that it will take things up a notch, and conduct what is called a “psychological autopsy” of the actor’s life.

According to reports, this will be carried out by the CBI’s Central Forensic Laboratory, and will involve a detailed study of every aspect of the actor’s life, including a deep- dive into the actor’s WhatsApp chats and conversations with friends and family.

The CBI will also study patterns related to the actor’s mood swings and personal idiosyncrasies, NDTV reported, in an attempt to get a composite picture of Rajput’s mental health on the day he is said to have taken his life.

The process is a complex one, sources in the CBI said, and has been applied only twice in the recent past — once during investigations into the sudden death of Sunanda Pushkar, and again after the horrific mass suicide in Burari, Delhi two years ago.

The CBI has, meanwhile, approached experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to assist with its investigations, The Times of India said. A four-member team from the hospital will now help analyse the forensic report.

On Thursday, the actor’s close friend Siddharth Pithani, who is believed to have been the first to find his body, and Neeraj, a cook who worked at the home of the actor, were questioned by the investigating agency. They were also taken to Rajput’s Bandra home to recreate the events of the day, reports said.

The case was transferred to the CBI by the Supreme Court last Friday, following immense pressure from fans — who call themselves SSR Warriors on social media — to conduct an independent investigation into the case.

With the thousands of conspiracy theories continuing to do the rounds, and a massive slander campaign launched against Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, hopefully the CBI will clear the air around what is the most controversial celebrity death in the country’s recent history.

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