Close to three weeks after TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee’s death, the blame game continues to rage between her parents and boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh. Even as her parents yesterday told the Bombay High Court that they believed she had been murdered by Rahul, his father made a shocking counter-allegation – that Pratyusha’s parents were blaming Rahul just so they can get their hands on the Rs 1-crore payout from her insurance policy.
On April 1, Pratyusha was found hanging in the Goregaon apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Rahul Raj. File pic
“Pratyusha’s parents are well aware that Pratyusha had an insurance policy worth Rs 1 crore, and she had made her parents the nominees. But this insurance was based on the condition that not a single rupee would be paid if the policyholder commits suicide. That is why they have lodged the FIR against my son,” said Rahul’s father, Harshwardhan Singh.
Rahul’s father, Harshwardhan Singh hit back with fresh allegations against Pratyusha’s parents yesterday
On the other hand, Pratyusha’s mother Soma Banerjee submitted a petition to the HC pointing out alleged flaws in the probe by the Bangur Nagar police and asking that the investigation be transferred to a specialised agency such as the Mumbai Crime Branch.
“Rahul is a drug addict; he was sent to rehab and the NGO that treated him specifically said that he was very violent. Despite the fact that the Banerjees told the police that Pratyusha was murdered, the cops registered a case of abetment to suicide, that too four days later. It seems the police are hand-in-glove with the accused, Rahul Raj Singh,” said KT Thomas, the senior counsel appearing for the family, adding that the cops did bother to check whether Rahul was actually ill, and even allowed him to be admitted in a private hospital instead of a government facility.
The Banerjee family argued that Rahul was already married but he preyed on Pratyusha and on several other girls. “Several girls who were cheated by Rahul are ready to come forward and tell the police how he extorted money from them. Pratyusha had around R23 lakh in her account but all the money was withdrawn by Rahul,” said Thomas, adding that Pratyusha was also allegedly tortured by Rahul and his other girlfriend Saloni Sharma.
However, Rahul’s father hit back at these allegations while he was at the Bangur Nagar police station yesterday. “Pratyusha was an extremely bold girl. If he had tortured her, why would she live with him? If her parents knew Rahul was responsible for her death, why did they wait almost a week to register an FIR? It shows that someone misguided them, told them that they would have to go against Rahul if they wanted Pratyusha’s insurance money,” he added.
He also addressed rumours that Pratyusha might have been depressed because of a recent abortion. “I am not aware of this. If she was depressed due to abortion then why was she preparing for the wedding? Why did she get a tattoo on her body and order the wedding lehenga just three days before her suicide?”
mid-day attempted to contact Pratyusha’s parents for their response to these fresh claims by Rahul’s father, but they remained unavailable. Meanwhile, the HC will hear the petition from the Banerjees today and the bench, comprising justices Naresh Patil and CH Badar, also asked the police to file a report of the investigation.