Bail for Rhea: Mumbai cops warn media ‘not to chase celebrities’

The actor, accused in a drug case, was mobbed by media last month despite social distancing norms in place

Rhea Chakraborty
The media persons had gathered around Rhea on September 6, violating every social distancing rule in place to check the spread of coronavirus.

The Mumbai police have asked media persons to refrain from “chasing celebrities” and “endangering lives” in the wake of actor Rhea Chakraborty being granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday.

Rhea Chakraborty, 28, was mobbed by media personnel in Mumbai in September first week (three days before she was arrested on September 9) after she was questioned for over six hours by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in a drugs case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

Rhea will walk out of the jail nearly a month after her arrest.

Anticipating similar mobbing of Rhea once again, Mumbai deputy commissioner of police Sangram Singh Nishandar told media persons, “You cannot chase the vehicle of any celebrity, advocate or any person you wish to interview. You cannot endanger your life, the life of that person or normal people walking on the roads. It’s an offence. We will take stern action, not only against the driver but against the person instigating, instructing the person to do such a chase.”

On September 6, Rhea Chakraborty was seen struggling to get through a mob to enter the investigating agency’s office amid huge security. Many in the crowd were seen violating social distancing norms, which are in place to check the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus even as Mumbai remains one of the worst-hit cities across the country amid the pandemic.

Also read: Bollywood drugs case: Rhea gets bail, brother Showik’s plea rejected

The media behavior prompted National Commission of Women chief Rekha Sharma to tweet: “Is there any work ethics for media?”

Bollywood celebrities also responded to the visuals. Tapsee Pannu wrote on Twitter: “In the name of justice these people have lynched a human being off her right to live even before proven guilty. I sincerely pray karma finds the address of each and every human being part of this lowest low of mankind we are witness to.”

Actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan too were questioned recently by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as the drugs probe widened.

DCP Sangram Singh Nishandar had warned the media then too. “We have observed a lot of media vehicles chasing people who were called for the inquiry. The vehicles will be seized because they are endangering their lives as well as lives of whoever was called and common people,” Nishandar told news agency ANI at the time.

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