Among the 39 witnesses listed by the CBI in the chargesheet against Sooraj Pancholi is his childhood friend, Karan Joshi (22), who said the two of them were together when Sooraj learnt of his girlfriend, Jiah Khan’s death.
Sooraj Pancholi (left) has been charged with abetting Jiah Khan’s suicide. His father, Aditya Pancholi, told mid-day they would contest the allegations. File pic
In the CBI chargesheet, which names Sooraj for abetting the actress’s suicide, Karan reveals that it was Sooraj’s father Aditya Pancholi who had broken the news to them. In a December 12 report, mid-day had already drawn up a timeline of events leading up to the moment Jiah was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her Juhu home (‘CBI chargesheet logs details of Sooraj-Jiah’s chaotic relationship’).
Karan’s statement is useful in tracing what took place after this, when Sooraj learnt of her death. On the night of Jiah’s suicide — June 3, 2013 – Karan received a call from Aditya at about 11.45 pm. Aditya asked for Sooraj, who was at his flat in Juhu with Karan. Aditya called both of them to his bungalow, where he was waiting with a friend, Kavya.
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Karan told the police that when they got there, the whole group headed to the living room, where Aditya told Sooraj that Jiah had been found hanging. “Immediately, Suraj broke down,” said Karan in his statement.
Aditya then asked Sooraj when he had last had contact with Jiah. Sooraj narrated the day’s events to his father. Around 1.30 am, another friend of Aditya’s, Munnu, came by the bungalow and informed them that Jiah’s body had been shifted to Cooper Hospital. “Suraj hugged Munnu and cried badly,” said Karan.
Around 2 am, Aditya and Munnu left to meet Jiah’s mother Rabiya at her residence. Afterwards, they returned to the bungalow, where Sooraj, Karan and Kavya had stayed put. After a while, everyone left the house.
Aditya and Sooraj took one car, while Karan was asked to follow them in another. They drove to Seven Bungalows in Andheri, where Aditya and Sooraj “discussed something” in the car, after which Sooraj moved to Karan’s car and they all returned home and went to bed.
Karan’s timeline ends on the morning of June 4, 2013, when Sooraj’s mother Zarina Wahab came to the Bandra bungalow, after which they directly went to Juhu Police station for questioning.