Sonali Phogat Death Case: Accused Confessed to Spiking Drink, Claim Police
"Accused confessed they intentionally mixed obnoxious chemical into a liquid & made her drink it," said Goa Police.
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The Goa Police on Friday, 26 August, claimed that the accused in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sonali Phogat's death confessed to deliberately mixing chemicals into a liquid that she had consumed.
The Goa Inspector General of Police, Omvir Singh Bishnoi, said, "When confronted, accused Sukhwinder Singh and Sudhir Sangwan (Phogat's personal assistant) confessed they took Phogat to the restaurant on the pretext of partying, and there Sangwan mixed some obnoxious substance in the drinking water and forced her to drink it."
Phogat had died in Goa while she was on a shoot. The 41-year-old actor-turned-politician complained of uneasiness, after which she was rushed to Goa's St Anthony Hospital, where she was declared brought dead.
The police had registered a case against the accused – Sangwan and Singh – on the basis of the complaint filed by Phogat's brother Rinku Dhaka.
Both the accused were questioned by Goa police overnight on Thursday and were later arrested. "The post-mortem report remained inconclusive. The only way left is to subject the suspects to questioning to ascertain the manner of death," Jaspal Singh, DGP of Goa, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"We are satisfied with how the investigation into the murder of my sister has progressed," said Dhaka on Friday evening, as quoted by news agency ANI. He added, "The CCTV footage has revealed the truth. We cremated my sister today, will look into the further process to get her justice now."
While initial reports suggested that she had died of a heart attack, a post-mortem conducted in Goa indicated that Phogat had suffered multiple "blunt force injuries."
Subsequently, the police made out a case of "unnatural death" and included the murder charge in the First Information Report (FIR).
What Else Did the Police Say?
"CCTV establishes that one of the accused forcefully made the victim consume a substance," the police said.
A statement released by the police also stated that after drinking the water, Phogat felt uneasy and sick in the restaurant. "Later she was taken by Sangwan and Singh to the hotel where they were staying, and then to St Anthony's hospital, where she was declared brought dead."
They further said that the post-mortem report had not mentioned the exact cause of death and it would be available only after a chemical examination of the viscera, histopathological, and serological reports, which would take some time.
"To avoid the possibility of destruction of evidence and influencing the witnesses, both Singh and Sangwan have been arrested and further investigation is in process," the police added.
When she was taken to the hospital, there were no visible injuries; hence, doctors suspected that she died due to a heart attack, IG Bishnoi said. However, she seemed to have actually died due to the substance she was fed at the restaurant, he added.
Bishnoi also stated that two other women were also with the accused at the party and were seen cutting a cake, adding that both of them were being questioned.
"Police will also record the statement of taxi drivers who ferried her from 'Curlies' restaurant to the hotel where she was staying and later to the hospital," Bishnoi said.
Meanwhile, Sonali Phogat's last rites were conducted in Haryana's Hisar on Friday, 26 August.
Phogat's seven-year-old daughter Yashodhara and others were seen carrying her mortal remains during the funeral procession in a farmhouse in Hisar.
Phogat's brother had alleged in his complaint that his sister had been murdered.
The Goa Police added the murder charge in the case of Phogat's "unnatural death" after forensic experts conducted the body's autopsy on Thursday.
Dhaka, however, said that he was not satisfied with the post-mortem done in Goa, and demanded that it should be carried out again at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
He also reiterated the family's demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case.
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Topics: Bharatiya Janata Party Haryana Last Rites
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