The police on Saturday questioned Rahul Raj Singh, the boyfriend of TV star Pratyusha Banerjee who was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her Mumbai flat a day ago. Hours before the Balika Vadhu actor allegedly committed suicide, Singh had yelled at her for drinking excessively, sources told HT.
Police took Singh to Siddharth Hospital — where 24-year-old Banerjee’s autopsy was conducted — and questioned him for a few hours there. The interrogation continued at a police station before Singh was finally let off.
“We have not found anything against Singh so far. We have recorded the statements of her parents and they have not levelled any allegations against him,” said an officer.
Singh’s lawyer, Neeraj Gupta, dismissed talk of a fight or financial dispute between the couple. But HT has learnt that Singh had reprimanded Banerjee for drinking too much at a party in their apartment on Thursday night. On Friday too, he yelled at her when he found her drinking in the afternoon. He then left the house for a short while, the sources said.
“When he got back, Rahul found the door locked from inside. Since he didn’t have a key, he called Banerjee on her phone several times and texted her. But he got no answer,” said Gupta.
Singh fetched a key maker, the lawyer said, but then decided to enter his flat from the neighbour’s apartment. He got into his bedroom through the sliding doors. At 4.30pm, he discovered Banerjee’s body in the hall.
“There were ligature marks on her neck, but we have kept the cause of death pending until forensic reports arrive,” said a doctor at the hospital.
Samples of her nails, hair and viscera have been preserved for further tests.
Banerjee was later cremated in the presence of her parents — who came from Jamshedpur — and family members, friends and co-stars from the television industry.
Sources said Singh had given the police the sequence of events leading to the discovery of the body.
Banerjee’s fellow actors spoke of discord in her personal life. “There were injury marks on her nose, under her eyes. We have taken pictures... We will give our statement to the police,” said actor Kamya Punjabi.
Producer Vikas Gupta said he had offered Banerjee a show but she was not keen on it as “she was having trouble in her personal life”.
(With inputs from agencies)