Mumbai: Shikha Joshi's brother blames roommate for model's death

The brother of model-cum-actor Shikha Joshi, who allegedly committed suicide on Saturday, claimed it was her roommate’s delaying taking her to a hospital that caused his sister’s death

Actor Shikha Joshi (40) could’ve been saved, had her roommate taken her immediately to a hospital instead of recording a two-minute video of hers. The deceased model’s brother has pinned the blame of his sister’s death on her roommate, Madhu Harti.

Madhu Harti, Shikha Joshi’s roommate, claimed a friend told her to record a video of Shikha in order to avoid being blamed for her death
Madhu Harti, Shikha Joshi’s roommate, claimed a friend told her to record a video of Shikha in order to avoid being blamed for her death

mid-day had reported yesterday (‘Molested by doc, fed up with men, model slits own throat’, May 18) that Shikha, a struggling actor and also a model, had been found by Madhu in a pool of blood in the bathroom of their New MHADA Colony flat in Versova. Scared that she would be blamed for the incident, Madhu had recorded a video of Shikha, in which she questioned why the latter had slit her own throat.

mid-day’s report yesterday

In the clip, Shikha is seen blaming one Dr Sharma and a few other married men for her decision. Only after she recorded the clip did Harti, along with a few others, take Shikha to the nearby Kokilaben Hospital. Vishesh Joshi, Shikha’s brother, has blamed this delay on the part of Madhu, for his sister’s demise.

“She (Madhu) should’ve taken her to a hospital instead of recording this video. She is also to blame for my sister’s death,” Vishesh told the police. Vishesh had arrived in the city on Sunday and took Shikha’s body back to New Delhi to perform her last rites.

Shikha was not doing well in her film career due to which her finances were in dire straits. She had planned to sell her mobile phone and go home to Delhi.

How it unfolded
Shikha, Madhu, and another woman were in the flat on that day. According to Madhu, Shikha had gone to the bathroom and had not come out for a long time. When Madhu asked Shikha to come out, as she wanted to go in, Shikha opened the door and fell onto the floor, bleeding. She had slit her throat. Both Madhu and the other woman in the flat screamed the latter fled from the scene in fear.

Madhu, meanwhile, claimed she didn’t know what to do and asked a friend for advice. “My friend told me to record a video of Shikha in order to not get embroiled in police matters or be blamed for the incident. She was bleeding so much that I couldn’t muster enough courage to even look at her,” she told mid-day.

Madhu then proceeded to record a two-minute video (mid-day has a copy of it), in which she is seen questioning a bleeding Shikha why she tried to commit suicide and who is to be blamed for it. Madhu told mid-day that the woman who had run away earlier, returned with three men from the building for help.

The five then decided to call Riyaz Pathan, Madhu’s husband. Pathan arrived 10 minutes later, and the group took Shikha to the hospital in Pathan’s car. In all this, at least 20 minutes were lost during which Shikha kept bleeding. According to a hospital source, excessive bleeding is suspected to be the cause of death.

When asked why she didn’t take her roommate to the hospital immediately, Madhu said, “I didn’t know what to do. I am a woman. How would I have picked her up?”

Cop speak
According to sources at Versova police station, Khar-based Dr Sharma, whom Shikha alleged had molested her and blamed for her suicide, will be booked after Shikha’s family registers a case against him. “If they (Shikha’s family) do not turn up, police will register a suo moto FIR and arrest him for abetment to suicide,” said Ravindranath Pawar, senior police inspector, Versova police station.

“We are wondering why Shikha’s friend Madhu didn’t take her to the hospital immediately. We will interrogate her and her husband, Riyaz Pathan,” added an official from Versova police station. Versova police further revealed they have recorded statements of nine people and are also investigating into the video.

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