Parents of television actor Pratyusha Banerjee, who died in April, on Wednesday launched a signature campaign in her home town Jamshedpur to garner support for a CBI probe into her “pre-planned cold-blooded murder”.
The Maharashtra government is also contemplating to approach the Supreme Court seeking further investigation.
On April 1, the 24-year-old actor, who shot to fame for her role of Anandi in the hit TV series Balika Vadhu, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself inside her flat at Goregaon area in Mumbai.
Her parents, Shankar and Soma Banerjee, said their fight for justice would continue and they would write to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his permission for euthanasia if the case was not probed impartially.
They said they wanted justice and demanded a capital punishment for Rahul Raj, Pratyusha’s boyfriend.
“We will move the SC after the vacation ends on June 28 challenging the bail granted to the accused Rahul Raj Singh by the Mumbai high court. I have already apprised the state government about the case and will tell the SC that the state government wants to investigate the case further,” Nilesh Pawaskar, special public prosecutor representing the prosecution in the case, told HT.
Vipin Nayar, the SC lawyer who pleaded Pratyusha’s parents’ petition in the SC challenging bail given to Rahul, said, “We have withdrawn the petition and will decide the next course of action after the chargesheet is filed.”
Pawaskar said Pratyusha’s parents’ petition had to be withdrawn as the SC had earlier ruled in a separate case (Sandip Kumar Bafna vs state of Maharashtra) that complainant (individuals) had no locus standi in such cases and the onus was on the state government to take a stand and move the court.
Hundreds of residents signed a public pledge demanding justice for Pratyusha and a CBI probe into her mysterious death on Wednesday evening at a public rally at Bata Chowk inside Sakchi market.
“We held this signature campaign here this evening as it was Pratyusha’s city. We are also holding a campaign on social media for our petition on www.change.org and so far over 700 people have signed it. We will also hold a signature campaign in Mumbai, Pratyusha’s workplace, where her colleagues, friends and the media have given support to us. We have also approached the PMO,” Shankar told HT.
Pratyusha’s parents would also meet Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das and Jharkhand state commission for women (JSCW) chairperson Mahua Maji in Ranchi on Thursday.
“We hope the CM would take up the cause for the state’s daughter and approach his counterpart in Maharashtra so that the case is probed properly. We will also provide them the copies of our petitions to the President, home minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra CM,” said Soma Banerjee.
Pratyusha’s parents said they had bank documents showing withdrawal of about Rs 60 lakh by Rahul from Pratyusha’s accounts.
“Two days before Pratyusha’s death on April 1, Rs 30 lakh was withdrawn and both her ICICI and HDFC bank ATM-cum-Debits cards were with Rahul. He also sold Pratyusha’s Chevrolet Optra car. Mumbai police must probe cheating allegations against him by seven other girls some of which are still pending in the court or police stations. Rahul’s first lawyer was Ashok Sarawgi who fought mafia don Abu Salem’s case and was later arrested,” alleged Pratyusha’s parents.