Pratyusha Banerjee death: Rahul Raj Singh's dubious past returns to haunt him
Four women, who had accused Pratyusha Banerjee’s boyfriend of swindling them in the past, speak about his love for money and how he sweet-talked victims into parting with huge sums of money
Hell hath no fury like a woman conned. And it looks like Rahul Raj Singh, the boyfriend of deceased TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee, has conned many women. Not only is he now being investigated for allegedly abetting Pratyusha’s suicide and trying to take control of her money, but four other women have now come forward to mid-day with their own stories of how he charmed them into parting with lakhs.
Quite a few woman have said Rahul Raj Singh only had money on his mind and had charmed them into parting with lakhs. Pic/PTI
He was a gold digger
According to Pratyusha’s father, Shankar Banerjee, Rahul was unemployed but sponged off other women, including his daughter. Shankar told mid-day that he had received many distress calls from Pratyusha, who was doing well in the television industry. She had complained that Rahul would demand money from her and had even beaten her up a few times when she refused. Rahul’s ex-girlfriend would also assault Pratyusha for money at times. “I told Pratyusha to leave him on many occasions, but she was in love,” said Shankar, adding that he had told her he would come to Mumbai and try to sort out the matter with Rahul.
Shankar Banerjee, Pratyusha’s father, said Rahul would beat her for money
In earlier interviews with mid-day, Rahul and his father Harshwardhan Singh had both denied that he had put pressure on Pratyusha for money. In fact, Rahul’s father alleged that it was the actress parents who had grabbed her money (‘Pratyusha’s money was seized by her parents’, April 4).
In 2011, Rahul landed an even bigger haul after he persuaded TV actor Heer Patel to invest Rs 25 lakh so he could make a movie with her in the lead. He told her the film would be produced by her father but it was all a con, said Heer.
“I ran from pillar to post to get my money back, and realised that this is how he makes money, cheating one girl after another. He had only money on his mind. I want him to be punished, she told mid-day. Heer added that Rahul had cheated many women but most did not take any action since the amounts were smaller. However, she approached the Versova police with a complaint in 2011. Rahul then made a counter- allegation against her at Goregaon police station.
A year before Rahul met Pratyusha, he met another actress – Kesha Khambhati – at a party. Kesha, who acts in movies in the South, said Rahul had flirted with her and then narrated a sob story of how he desperately needed Rs 2.5 lakh to pay his rent. But when she asked him to return the money, he began to make excuses. Last year, she filed a non-cognisable offence after he allegedly threatened to kill her. Fed up of chasing him for her money, Kesha also filed a lawsuit against him at the Andheri court last month, and is waiting for the next hearing in May.
“Whenever I visited Rahul’s home to recover my dues, his landlord would inform me that he had left the premises all of a sudden. This is Rahul’s modus operandi. He never stays at one place for too long, since there are lots of people chasing him for their money. In all crimes that he commits, Rahul is assisted by his ex-girlfriend. Just 10 to 12 days ago, I saw him with the same woman in the suburbs,” said Khambhati.
Long before Rahul met Pratyusha, he had already begun mooching off other women, such as housewives Sobha Singh and Sheetal Malvia, who alleged that they were swindled out of R7 lakh and R8 lakh, respectively, in 2010 when Rahul persuaded them to invest in a fake event company floated by him. “He used to come home and talk to my husband and lured him to invest in the event company too,” said Sheetal.
He had assured them that the company would organise Bollywood events, but they later realised that he had duped them. When they asked for their money, Rahul gave them a cheque that bounced. After this, the women then approached the Amboli police station with a complaint application but claim they did not get a positive response.