By Arré Bench Sep. 08, 2020
While news anchors and trolls who wished to see Rhea Chakraborty arrested are celebrating the news, it’s unclear how her arrest for drug consumption does anything to disprove Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide. Rather, as Chakraborty’s legal representation claims, it only paints the late actor as a “drug addict”.
When Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment in June, no one could have predicted that his apparent suicide would become the national media’s favourite pastime for the next three months. Rajput’s ex-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was made the bête noir by news anchors, with allegations of everything from money laundering to black magic being levelled against her. All of this was to establish that Rajput was killed, and did not kill himself, despite all evidence to the contrary. Now, out of the three central government agencies investigating her, Rhea has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on charges of consumption and procurement of drugs.
— Filmfare (@filmfare) September 8, 2020
While the news anchors and the legions of trolls who wished to see Chakraborty arrested any which way are celebrating the news, it’s unclear how her arrest for drug consumption does anything to disprove Rajput’s suicide. Rather, as Chakraborty’s legal representation has claimed, it only paints Rajput as a “drug addict” who partook in the same activities as Chakraborty.
I hope those cheering now get this simple point. #RheaChakraborty has been arrested for consuming drugs. Not for killing Sushant Singh Rajput. Had he been alive, he would have been arrested, too.
— Devlina Ganguly (@AarKiBolboBolo) September 8, 2020
The drug in question is marijuana, and anecdotes shared by Rajput’s assistant and his house help indicate that the late actor would use it. India has a cultural history of marijuana, with it being openly consumed as bhang on Holi and by sadhus at the Kumbh Mela. But when it comes to Rajput and Chakraborty, it is being vilified as if it were the direct cause of Rajput’s death.
Oh good, we finally know why marijuana is still criminalised in a country with a cultural history of ganja, so the Union home ministry’s agencies can arrest random girls who have been accused of murder, conspiracy and god knows what else by Chief Justice Goswami
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) September 8, 2020
Many critics of the media trial against Chakraborty are saying that the drug use accusation is the only one with which agencies could actually charge her, which is why it has been played up to this extent. And that it won’t withstand further scrutiny.
Without possession and without intent to distribute, almost impossible to make charges stick under the NDPS Act.
— Kushan Mitra (@kushanmitra) September 8, 2020
Chakraborty’s brother Showik was also arrested by the NCB earlier this month, under the same charges. It prompted the siblings’ father to say that the media trial had “effectively demolished a middle-class family” in the name of justice.
No 15 crores, no murder, no abetment to suicide but justice delivered on social media. Justice meant arrest Rhea anyhow. Now up to courts.
— Jyoti Yadav (@jyotiyadaav) September 8, 2020
Being arrested itself is not proof of Chakraborty’s guilt. That still has to be established in a court of law, where the trial will hopefully be fairer than the one run by bloodthirsty news anchors and angry WhatsApp warriors.