A bet of Rs 300 with four friends proved fatal for Shahrukh Khan. It was to win the money that he plunged into the 15 to 20-foot wide stretch of the Upper Ganga Canal on Sunday. He did not make it to the other end and his body was fished out after a long search.
“He drowned while swimming across the canal and his body disappeared in the water. Divers had to be roped in for the search,” said Vipin Tada, circle officer.
“We have rounded up four of his friends for questioning. They told the police that two of them jumped into the canal in an effort to save Sharukh but could not,” Tada said.
Sharukh’s family, however, had a different version. They accused the friends of killing Shahrukh. His father Ayub Ali said his son did not drown but was strangled and the body thrown into the canal.
“His friends visited our house on Sunday and he went with them for some work. When my son did not return by late evening, we went in search of him. His friends strangled him. My son knew how to swim and the water in the canal was only 3-4 feet. He could not have drowned. The friends owed my son Rs 8,000 and they killed him as they could not return the money,” Ali said.
The family filed a police complaint on Monday afternoon and the police promised action after receiving the post-mortem report.
Not happy with this, the family and residents of Dasna protested on the road with the body of the 20-year-old, demanding that an FIR of murder be lodged against the four friends.
Hundreds of commuters were stuck on the NH-24 in Ghaziabad and the protest was withdrawn only after the police assured the crowd that a murder FIR will be lodged.
The police then lodged an FIR of murder. But the post-mortem report, which came in by late Monday night, has ruled out any foul play, the police said.
“We received the report late night and it indicates death due to drowning. The report also says no external injuries were found on the body. This means that he was not strangled by his friends as alleged by the family,” Shahwez Khan, station house officer at Masuri, said.