Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna may have opened up a Pandoras Box with his recent comments on Bollywood against the backdrop of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
In a couple of TV debates, Khanna — of the “Shaktiman” — has claimed that there have been many ‘murders in Bollywood’ which were allegedly ‘declared as suicides’, in the past.
His remarks were greeted with murmurs of disbelief and disdain, while some dismissed allegations of the actor – fondly remembered for the role of ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ (“Mahabharata”) – as “the man who knows too much”.
Now, Khanna’s statements have become a potential case of action — in the form of a letter to Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh — demanding that the utterances should form the basis for the police to re-investigate all ‘Bollywood suicides that may have been potential murders’ in the past 50 years or so.
Shiv Sena leader and Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari — who is accorded the status of Minister of State — has shot off the letter to the Mumbai CP for a thorough probe into Khanna’s allegations in public interest.
“On August 13 in a debate on Republic TV, Khanna made the stunning declaration in the presence of the Editor Arnab Goswami, and several others like legal luminary Ujjwal Nikam, BJP leader Sambit Patra and even myself… Nobody questioned him on such a serious matter which he later repeated on at least one other channel, and others have followed it up prominently,” Tiwari told IANS.
Taking the lead, Tiwari has urged (Mumbai CoP) Singh to set up a Special Investigatin Team (SIT) and probe Khanna’s TV comments that “many crimes of murders in Bollywood are suppressed and turned into cases of suicide like the Sushant Singh Rajput case”.
Maharashtra home department sources indicated that considering the serious nature of Khanna’s charges repeatedly openly on at least two TV channels, the government will seek a report on the same from the Director-General of Police.
“If he or anybody, has knowledge of any ‘murders sought to be turned into suicides’, as stated in the TV debates, they must share and depose before the police and the courts,” said an official declining to be identified.
As this amounts to ‘knowledge of very serious cognizable crimes or even its conspiracy’, Tiwari said the Police must immediately summon Khanna, Goswami and Patra “to share whatever inside knowledge they possess to enable a re-probe” of all such 100-odd crimes.
“Let them voluntarily reveal details of all such alleged murders-turned-suicides in the past 50 years, whether Khanna and others actually witnessed these alleged ‘murders’, who committed them – whether mafia in connivance with some ‘supari’ killers, etc,” Tiwari pointed out.
“However, if Khanna’s contentions are proved fake or false, then he and the others like Goswami and Patra, must face criminal action and be penalized for Rs100 crore each…
“Let them realize that such loose statements on a public platform paints Bollywood in poor light, tarnishes the image of Maharashtra Police and the credibility of the entire Indian Judiciary,” warned the Sena leader.
Tiwari also lauded Khanna’s courage for “pointing a finger at (Bollywood) where there is so much hidden muck” of which the Sushant case is just one off-shoot, and this will now result in a ‘Maha Swachhata Abhiyan’ to cleanse the film industry.
He admitted Khanna’s statements pose huge ramifications for the entire Bollywood, corporate, television media and political world, besides the people at large who have full faith in the police and judiciary which was shaken by such statements.