Ankita Lokhande: Here’s Why Sushant Singh Rajput’s Pavitra Rishta Co-Star Is Trending
Actor Ankita Lokhande has been in the news and online trends all this past month, ever since the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. The two were reportedly in a relationship for close to seven years, from when they first started dating on the sets of their show, Pavitra Rishta, until 2016 when they parted ways. The couple, which played protagonists Archana and Manav on the daily soap, was a media favourite with a highly publicised relationship that was adored by fans of the show for its reel and real-life convergence.
After Rajput’s death by alleged suicide on June 14, Lokhande has been posting a string of cryptic tributes to the late actor and her ex-boyfriend on her social media profiles. She is trending online for recently breaking the silence over Rajput’s death, publicly claiming that “Sushant was not a depressed man” and that after years of being in a relationship with him, she could attest to this.
Ankita Lokhande on Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death
When news of Rajput’s death came, netizens flocked to and crowded Lokhande’s social media timelines for potential information about his passing. Old Instagram photos on her profile began to amass a volley of abuses and comments from users, with some lamenting that the unfortunate incident wouldn’t have happened if Lokhande and Rajput had still been a couple, while others insinuated that she was somehow responsible for his death.
On July 14, his one-month death anniversary, she uploaded a picture of a diya and shrine with the caption “CHILD Of GOD,” and then another similar one on July 22 captioned, “Keep smiling wherever you are.” The day of Dil Bechara‘s release on July 24, Rajput’s last film, she marked her journey with him, writing, “From #pavitrarishta to #dilbechara One last time !!!”
News of Ankita Lokhande visiting Rajput’s home in Patna, Bihar after his death circulated widely on social media. Currently, she is trending online for breaking her silence around his death on a TV interview with a news channel. Lokhande has strongly commented on the issue, saying that calling Rajput a depressed, bipolar man, who died by suicide, is a “big word to use” since “Sushant was never the kind of guy jisko depression ho.”
Investigation of Rajput’s Death is Underway
The ongoing police investigation of Rajput’s death has people divided on the issue, with some supporting the Mumbai Police while others are trending the hashtag #ShameOnMumbaiPolice on Twitter citing neglect in the case. Rhea Chakraborty, Rajput’s last girlfriend, in the latest news has been charged with an FIR by his father, and she has sought a transfer of the case to Mumbai.
Surrounding this controversy, Lokhande has posted messages on her social media handles that support the #IndiaforSushant trend. Earlier today, she shared a message that read “Satyamev Jayate” and earlier in the week, a photo that read “TRUTH WINS.” HT quoted Lokhande as saying that she hadn’t been in contact with Rajput for four years.
The Mumbai Police has reportedly recorded the statements of over 36 people in their probe into Rajput’s death, including names like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajeev Masand, Mahesh Bhatt, and Sanjana Sanghi.
Ankita Lokhande’s Life and Career
35-year-old Lokhande hails from Indore, she shifted base to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting. She shot to fame with Pavitra Rishta, an award-winning Balaji Telefilms daily soap that used to air on Zee TV, where she played the titular role of Archana, alongside late Sushant Singh Rajput, who played Manav. Premiered in 2009, the serial had a long run till 2014, and was premised on the romantic relationship between Archana and Manav.
Following the success of Pavitra Rishta, she took part in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa‘s season 4 in 2011 with her then-boyfriend Rajput. The same year, she also made an appearance in reality comedy show Comedy Circus.
Ankita Lokhande’s stint in Bollywood began in 2019 with Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, in which she essayed the role of the legendary soldier Jhalkaribal, who was the primary advisor to Rani of Jhansi. Her latest film appearance was in Ahmed Khan’s Baaghi 3 in 2020.
Tanvi Akhauri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.