A pizza-party post landed Siddharth Pithani straight to NCB net
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was trying to catch Sushant Singh Rajput's former roommate Siddharth Pithani since last August, as per reports. The hunt finally culminated last week, when the agency nabbed him from Hyderabad, thanks to his new Instagram account, and a post about a pizza party. Pithani, a key source in this case, reportedly dodged their summons thrice, said NCB sources.
According to a Mid-day report, Pithani had "disappeared" from Mumbai, and deleted his social media handles, right after Rajput's death. Since then, NCB had been on the lookout for him. After a lull, Pithani opened a new Instagram account this April. Some days later, he uploaded images from a gym, which a NCB team visited, waiting for Pithani.
When Pithani did not turn up that day, officials took his home address from the gym. Apart from that post, a recent picture of his engagement also came in handy. According to Sameer Wankhede, Zonal Director, NCB Mumbai, Pithani ignored all the summons issued by them. "We had resorted to all digital platforms to arrest him. We were constantly tracking him," he added.
Pithani, who is an actor and graphic designer, was termed absconding by NCB Mumbai, until his arrest. According to Wankhede, he has been booked under Sections 27A, 28, 29, and 35 of the NDPS Act, 1985. Pithani was initially sent to custody till June 1, and was produced in a court. Yesterday, a Mumbai court extended that stint by three more days.
Tracing back, it was Pithani who apparently was the first one to have discovered the late actor's body. He also reportedly called a locksmith to open the door, which was locked from inside, making him the prime witness. Mumbai Police had interrogated him, after which he left for Hyderabad in July 2020. CBI, which is still investigating the death case, had also questioned him.
In his reaction, Pithani's father Ramana Murthy claimed his son was arrested so that no one questions NCB's probe. "Siddharth was the only person among Sushant's close friends who remained untouched by the NCB so far. He never consumed or possessed narcotic substances," Murthy said.
Taking the case forward, NCB arrested another drug peddler today. According to news agency ANI, one Harish Khan was nabbed from Bandra. A TOI report suggests that Khan was arrested after some phone calls and WhatsApp chats revealed he had alleged ties with drug suppliers. To recall, Rajput's staffers Neeraj and Keshav Bachner were also brought in by NCB for questioning on May 31.