Jiah Khan and Pratyusha Banerjee
It's Pratyusha Banerjee's first death anniversary today. The untimely deaths of Jiah Khan and Pratyusha Banerjee have been two of the most high-profile suicide cases in recent times, which sent shockwaves through showbiz. But, the similarities don't end there…
Death by Hanging: On June 3, 2013, Jiah was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her flat in Sagar Sangeet building in Juhu, Mumbai. Pratyusha Banerjee is said to have hanged herself from a fan at her Kandivali residence, on April 1, 2016.
Almost of the same age: Jiah was 25 when she died, Pratyusha was a year younger. Two promising lives, and careers, met an abrupt end, for reasons that are still speculative.
Sooraj Pancholi and Rahul Raj Singh
Troubled relationship: Following the death of Jiah, there were numerous reports of her ending her life because of her alleged abusive relationship with Sooraj Pancholi. The CBI even charged Sooraj with abetment of suicide. He was later arrested, and released on bail. Pratyusha’s boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh is also in the dock. After many stories of him allegedly torturing the actress, the Mumbai police registered a case of abetment of suicide against him.
Jiah with her mother Rabia. File pic
Murder not suicide, say mothers: Jiah’s mother Rabia has constantly been stating that her daughter did not take her life, but was murdered. She even filed a petition in Bombay HC, claiming the same. The petition stated, among many other things, that a person who commits suicide would have his or her eyes popping and tongue protruding out, while in case of Jiah it was not so. She even alleged that the Pancholi family was using their clout to twist facts.
Pratyusha's mother Shoma Banerjee
On the other hand, Pratyusha’s mother recently wrote to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, alleging that the 25-year-old did not commit suicide but was murdered by her boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh. She also asked that the case be handed over to the Crime Branch to ensure justice for her daughter. Shoma Banerjee further alleged she and her husband, as well as the witnesses in the case, were being threatened by Rahul.
A still from Nishabd. Pic/Santa Banta
Career downslide after promising start: Another theory that did the rounds following the deaths of the two actresses was that they were struggling in their respective careers. Jiah, who started her career opposite Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Nishabd’ (2007), was going through a lean patch as she was apparently struggling to find work. She did feature in ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Housefull’, but the movies did not do much for her career.
Pratyusha as Anandi in ‘Balika Vadhu'
Pratyusha, who rose to fame playing Anandi in ‘Balika Vadhu’, was also out of work, according to some industry sources. She even did reality shows like ‘Bigg Boss 7’ and ‘Power Couple’, but could not reclaim the popularity of her debut show. There were also reports that she was in a financial mess, and was in desperate search of work to clear her debts.