Mumbai Crime: TV actor Kushal Punjabi found hanging in Bandra

Updated: Dec 28, 2019, 07:39 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Ishq Mein Marjawan star Kushal Punjabi found hanging at home; says in suicide note that nobody else is responsible for his death

Kushal Punjabi
Kushal Punjabi

Friends of Ishq Mein Marjawan fame actor, Kushal Punjabi, who committed suicide on Thursday, said he was deeply depressed ever since his wife left him, taking their son with her. The actor was found hanging at his Bandra flat by a close friend. The Bandra police, who registered a case of accidental death, have found a suicide note that says, "Nobody should be blamed for my death."

Sources said his wife and he were planning a separation by mutual consent, the divorce had not yet been filed in a court. On Thursday at around 11.10 pm, the Bandra police received a call from the actor's residence and after reaching it, they took him to Bhabha Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Kushal Punjabi committed suicide in his house at Alsid Apartment in Bandra. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Kushal Punjabi committed suicide in his house at Alsid Apartment in Bandra. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

"An ADR has been registered and a suicide note was found at his residence," said Bhushan Belnekar, PI Bandra police station. In the one-and-a-half-page suicide note written in English, Punjabi has asked that 50 per cent of his assets be divided equally between his parents and sister, and 50 per cent to be given to his three-year-old son and wife.

His wife is a French national and lives in Shanghai with their son. The suicide note mentions details of hi property details. Sources said, he has mentioned a 1-BHK flat in Dahisar, a bike, electronic equipment and his savings account details.

According to sources, his parents were trying to reach Punjabi but when he didn't respond to their calls, they called one of his closest friends, who went to Kushal's flat.
When he, too, got no response, he got the door opened after making duplicate keys, and found him hanging from the ceiling fan. He and some other friends got him down and tried to revive him. Soon after, they called the police.

"He was alone at his residence and the doors were locked from inside. His wife is abroad, there is nothing to suspect as of now. Enquiries are underway," said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, DCP Zone 9. Punjabi had acted in films such as Lakshya, Kaal, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal and shows including Fear Factor and Zindagi Wins.

'I hope he is in a happier space now'

THE actor's suicide came as a shock to the television and film fraternity. Chetan Hansraj, one of Punjabi's colleagues and best friends, said, "I still cannot believe that this has happened. He called me on Christmas eve and told me about a meeting later in the week. His parents called me up last night and said that Kushal wasn't opening the door. We called a locksmith to open the door and found Kushal hanging by the ceiling. We tried to give him CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but it was too late.'

The actor was married to Audrey Dolhen in 2015 and has a three-year-old son, Kian. Hansraj said, "He met his son in Shanghai and came back on Sunday. He and his wife were undergoing a separation. He was living here while she was staying abroad with their son. I got to know about it just a few days ago. He was going through a depressed phase. We used to chat about it but never did I think that he would take such a step."

Hansraj adds that work uncertainty was another factor that bothered Punjabi a lot. "Kushal was a good looking man and was physically very fit. He had just participated in a show which he completed despite a broken shoulder. He would often talk to me about how despite spending more than two decades in the industry, work was elusive. It's a sad reality that not many know, but as actors we face a lot of issues. Our pay cheques are almost always late and the association also doesn't do much about it. We are at the mercy of the producers. This had definitely taken a toll on him but he had a fighting spirit and I am sure something really grave must have made him take this step. I hope he is in a happier space now," he said.

Actor Karanvir Bohra, who broke the news on social media, said Punjabi was a jovial person and never showed signs of giving up. "He was so enthusiastic about life. Just last month he was training for an obstacle race which he participated in and completed. I along with Kushal, Apurav Agnihotri and his wife Shilpa and Chetan (Hansraj) would be with him during his training to cheer him. I can say that any person who met him once would tell you how motivated and how motivational he was about life. But like it is said, you never know the vulnerable state of anyone's mind. It is unfortunate that we have lost a dear friend," he said."

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