- Ankita Lokhande worked with Sushant in ‘Pavitra Rishta’
- Ankita and Sushant also dated for six years
- She could not be present at Sushant’s funeral
Actress Ankita Lokhande was pictured visiting the Mumbai residence of Sushant Singh Rajput on Tuesday, a day after his funeral. Mr Rajput, 34, was found dead at home on Sunday; police say he died by suicide and an investigation is ongoing. Ms Lokhande did not attend Mr Rajput’s funeral, preferring to visit her Pavitra Rishta co-star’s family by herself – her co-star has said Ms Lokhande could not be at the funeral because of the limit on number of attendees. Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput rose to fame as the leads on Pavitra Rishta, an Ekta Kapoor-produced soap in which they were cast as love interests; they also dated for six years.
Lokhande has refrained from sharing on social media after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death; like others who showed similar restraint – actresses Kriti Sanon and Shraddha Kapoor – the silence attracted trolls. Some of Ms Lokhande’s Rishta cast members have told the media she is devastated. Actress Prarthana Behera told Hindustan Times that Ankita Lokhande and other Pavitra Rishta actors wanted to attend the funeral. “When I posted on the Pavitra Rishta group let’s go and see Sushant for the last time, then we got to know that only 20 people can attend the funeral,” Ms Behera said.The handful of film fraternity members at Sushant Singh Rajput’s funeral included Kriti Sanon and Shraddha Kapoor, Mr Rajput’s co-stars in the films Raabta and Chhichhore.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has provoked a massive backlash against Bollywood, which has been accused of hypocrisy and also of shutting Mr Rajput out despite the success of his 2019 film Chhichhore and others. Politician Sanjay Nirupam, who was also at the funeral, has alleged that Mr Rajput signed seven films after Chhichhore and lost all seven within six months. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has announced that the police investigation will also probe allegations that Mr Rajput was depressed because of professional rivalry.