Sushant Singh Rajput (21 January 1986 – 14 June 2020) was an Indian actor who is best known for his work in Hindi cinema. Rajput started his career with television serials. His debut show was Star Plus‘s romantic drama Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil (2008), followed by a starring role in Zee TV‘s soap opera Pavitra Ristha (2009–2011).
Rajput made his film debut in the buddy drama Kai Po Che! (2013). He then starred in the romantic comedy Shuddh Desi Romance(2013) and as the titular detective in the action thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!(2015). His highest-grossing releases came with a supporting role in the satire PK (2014), followed by the titular role in the sports biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016). For his performance in the latter, he received his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.Rajput went on to star in the commercially successful films Kedarnath(2018) and Chhichhore (2019).His last film, Dil Bechara (2020), was released posthumously on Hotstar.
NITI Aayog, the policy think-tank of the Indian government, signed him to promote the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP).Apart from acting and running a technological startup,Rajput was actively involved in helping young students. He was also the co-founder of an AI and technology company and a charity based company for social work.
Sushant Singh Rajput was born in Patna in the state of Bihar to Krishna Kumar Singh and Usha Singh. He was the youngest of five siblings and had the nickname of Gulshan. One of his four sisters Mitu Singh would become a state-level cricket player.He attended the St. Karen’s High School in Patna. His family moved to Delhi following his mother’s death in 2002 where Rajput completed his schooling in Kulachi Hansraj Model School.
According to Rajput, he had ranked seventh in the DCE Entrance Exam in 2003, and secured admission in the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) class in Delhi College of Engineering.He was also a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. In all, he cleared as many as 11 engineering entrance exams, including that for the Indian School of Mines.After he started participating in theatre and dance, he rarely had time for studies, resulting in several backlogs which ultimately made him leave DCE. He completed only three years of the four-year course before dropping out to pursue an acting career.
While a student at Delhi Technological University, Rajput enrolled in Shiamak Davar‘s dance classes. It was only later that the idea of making a career in acting came to him, as some of his fellow students in the dance classes happened to be interested in acting and was attending Barry John‘s drama classes. Influenced by them, Rajput also joined the acting classes. Here, he found his passion for acting: “I found the experience liberating. I realised that I could communicate with the audience. I knew I wanted to do this forever.”
On 14 June 2020, Rajput, aged 34, was found dead, hanging from the ceiling fan in his home in Bandra, Mumbai. He had reportedly been suffering from depression So Mumbai Police commenced an investigation, stating that the death was being treated as a suicide. The postmortem report stated that the cause of death was “asphyxia due to hanging,”and called it a “clear case of suicide.” The autopsy doctors placed time of death at 10 to 12 hours before postmortem examination on 14 June at 11:30 p.m.—meaning between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (Indian Standard Time). No foul play was found. The viscera report likewise ruled out foul play.On 25 July, Rajput’s family lodged a first information report with police in Patna, where his father lives, accusing Rhea Chakraborty and five others of abetment of suicide.
On 19 August 2020, the Supreme Court of India allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indian national government’s top investigating agency, to take control of the investigation and ordered the CBI to look into any future cases registered in relation to Rajput’s death. On 21 August, Sudhir Gupta, leader of a forensic medical team tasked by CBI for assistance, told the Press Trust of India, “We will look into the possibility of murder. However, all probable angles will be thoroughly examined.”Gupta told Asian News International, “We will also examine other trace evidence preserved at the time of autopsy to differentiate between hanging and murder allegations.”
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