In a new twist to the case of alleged suicide of TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee, her friends on Monday claimed her boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh “cheated on her” and used to “slap” her in public as well as in parties. The 24-year-old former Balika Vadhu star was found dead at her home in suburban Goregoan on April 1, in a suspected case of suicide.
In a joint press conference here, her friends Kamya Punjabi and Vikas Gupta claimed Rahul was cheating on her and that they were in a “messy relationship”. “Some days ago she called me and said Rahul is cheating on her. Three-four days ago, when I got a call in Delhi, I told her I’ll come and sort out everything. She said she can’t live like this anymore and wanted to get out of this relationship. She said she needed help and wanted to file a case against Rahul,” Kamya claimed.
“I told her we will meet on April 4, if she wants, she can stay at my place. Then she called our common friend Leena and said ‘I want to fight back’,” she added.
Gupta, who is a producer, claimed Pratyusha did not want to “give up” on the relationship. “She was in a messy relationship. She didn’t want to come out of it thinking ‘I don’t want people to think I am in a relationship and now I am getting out of it’. She didn’t want to give up,” he claimed.
Gupta also claimed Rahul’s ex-girlfriend Saloni Sharma allegedly used to assault Pratyusha in his absence. “Saloni Sharma used to visit her and assault her. She used to give threats to Pratyusha because of which she was disturbed too. When Pratyusha used to tell Rahul about this, he used to switch off his phone and not visit her,” he further claimed.
“Pratyusha wanted to file a case against Rahul. She called a lawyer and then she wanted to speak to her (lawyer) the day the incident took place. On the very same day, she had an appointment with the lawyer and she had told many things about Rahul and finances and wanted to seek legal advice. Pratyusha wanted help legally because she was getting tortured someway or the other,” her lawyer in the suicide case, Falguni Brahmabath alleged.
Kamya and Vikas also claimed that Rahul used to publicly “slap” Pratyusha in public and many of her friends had witnessed it. Kamya and Vikas said they are ready to give statement to police in this regard but they have not been called yet.
Police yesterday recorded Rahul’s statement in connection with the case. Rahul was hospitalised today after he complained of breathing problems.
Police also searched Pratyusha’s house and found two mobile phones. The cops had ruled out financial dispute as the reason for suicide. According to police, the probe so far had not found anything pointing to abetment of suicide by Rahul. Besides, Pratyusha’s parents didn’t level any allegations against Rahul in their statement. Her parents said Pratyusha and her boyfriend did fight sometimes, but patched up soon thereafter.
While Rahul’s parents have claimed the actress was under financial stress, Vikas said the only thing worrying Pratyusha was problems in her personal life. “Pratyusha was a very middle class girl who wanted simple things. She wanted to get married and settle down. If she was getting those things, then I don’t think she would’ve gone anywhere. If Rahul says they had a perfect life and no issues in relationship then she wouldn’t have died,” the producer claimed.
Vikas added he had offered Pratyusha a new show and she was doing well professionally. “Reasons of financial crisis behind her suicide are nonsensical. Pratyusha Banerjee charges more than a lakh for a cameo. There was no financial problem, this is idiocy of a big level where some people are claiming that Pratyusha was depressed,” he further claimed.
Kamya claimed that injury marks were found on Pratyusha’s body and alleged that “the suicide theory had loopholes”. “There are injury marks on the body, grave wound on her nose. If she was hanged, those marks wouldn’t have been there. She was a 5-feet girl, could not have hung herself to a ceiling which is 10 feet high,” she further claimed.
“(Pratyusha’s) Parents are going to pursue a case against Rahul... If she was pregnant she would’ve been alive. The death certificate does not mention she was pregnant,” Vikas claimed.
Leena Dias, a common friend of Pratyusha and Rahul who claims to be “rakhi sister” of Rahul alleged that a day before the incident, Pratyusha had called her and said Saloni was torturing her and she wanted to get our of the mess. “Around 3 am, a day before her (Pratyusha’s) death, she (Pratyusha) called me and was crying. She said ‘I want to get out of these things’. Whatever is happening with me, is wrong. I asked her what exactly is it. Saloni used to torture her, attack her in Rahul’s absence. She told me ‘I want to fight back, I can’t stay like this, I want to sort out these things and come out of this’,” Leena claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)