Sonali Phogat death: Home ministry orders CBI inquiry
The development came hours after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wrote to the ministry, seeking an investigation by the central agency.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the murder case of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and actor Sonali Phogat, PTI reported, citing officials.
The development came hours after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wrote to the ministry, seeking CBI investigation into the case.
“We have full faith in our police but people have repeatedly demanded and her daughter has also demanded that the case be handled by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” the chief minister had written.
After the home ministry’s approval, Sawant said that the Goa Police will hand over the case to the CBI and fully cooperate with the central agency, reported ANI.
The BJP leader from Haryana died in Goa between August 22 night and the early hours of August 23. CCTV footage had shown that Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, two of Phogat’s associates, had allegedly given her some drugs. Soon after consuming them, Phogat died of heart attack.
So far, the Goa Police have arrested five persons in case, including Sangwan and Singh.
On Sunday, a khap mahapanchayat had given an ultimatum to the Haryana government to recommend a CBI investigation into the death of the social media influencer by September 23. The khap had threatened to start a mass agitation if the state government fails to do so, reported PTI.
Phogat’s daughter Yashodhara and other family members were also present at the mahapanchayat. The family members had also met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday, seeking an inquiry by the central agency.
Investigation into Phogat’s alleged murder began when her brother Rinku Dhaka filed a complaint against Singh and Sangwan for killing the actor.
On August 25, the Goa Police registered a first information report against the two associates.
Under police custody, Sangwan and Singh confessed to having mixed an “obnoxious chemical” into a liquid and made Phogat drink it during a party. The postmortem report showed that Phogat suffered “multiple blunt force injuries over the body”.
The incident is said to have taken place at Curlies Restaurant.
On September 9, the Supreme Court had put a stay on the demolition of Curlies restaurant that was being razed for allegedly violating coastal regulation zone norms.