Actor and BJP leader Sonali Phogat was forcibly made to drink “some obnoxious substance” mixed in water by her two associates while partying at a restaurant-cum-nightclub in Goa, the police have said, citing security camera footage and alleged confessions. She “felt uneasy” after it, and was brought dead to a hospital the next morning.
Police said that Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, the two associates accused of murdering the Bigg Boss contestant Sonali Phogat, were arrested so they could not destroy the evidence. “CCTV recordings of relevant premises were examined by the Investigating Officer and it was found that Sudhir was forcefully making Sonali to drink the alleged liquid in a water bottle,” the police statement read.
Sonali Phogat, 42, had visited Curlie’s Restaurant last Monday night and was brought dead to the St Anthony’s Hospital in Anjuna in North Goa from her hotel the next morning. While it was initially seen as a case of heart attack, her family sensed something amiss and demanded a thorough probe.
Upon the family’s pressure and an intervention by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, police eventually filed a murder case and, in her post-mortem report yesterday, it came to light that “there are multiple blunt force injuries over the body”. The medical experts said police should need to investigate the cause of death.
Police said finding the cause “would take a while… only after chemical examination of viscera” and other tests.
The Haryana Chief Minister had yesterday said that the viscera would be examined at a state facility in Chandigarh too, besides in Goa, as per the family’s demand.
The family has alleged rape as well, but police in Goa haven’t yet pressed those charges, pending further investigation.
Her brother, Rinku Dhaka, has alleged that the killers had the “intention to take over her properties and financial assets and to finish her political career”.
With the BJP since 2008, Sonali Phogat had contested the 2019 assembly polls but lost.
He husband Sanjay Phogat, who died five years ago, had been active in social and political circles.
She has a teenaged daughter.