Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday stated that his government will provide full support to state police investigations into the demise of Haryana BJP leader and actor Sonali Phogat.
“Full support from day one in the investigation. Those who have to be punished will be punished by Goa Police one hundred present. At present, they (accused) are in custody and an investigation is going on,” CM Sawant said while talking to reporters here. Phogat, 42, was declared dead at the St Anthony Hospital at Anjuna in North Goa on August 23. A post-mortem report revealed blunt force injury on her body, following which the Goa Police registered a murder case.
The Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai had on Thursday took a swipe at the BJP-led state government over the probe into the case. Sawant had earlier said that preliminary reports suggested Sonali Phogat died of cardiac arrest.
“Yesterday they said she died of heart attack. Today, a post-mortem revealed several blunt force injuries. It proves Chief Minister likes to give clean chit, jump the gun. This is giving Goa a bad name. This shows the state of affairs here,” Sardesai had said on Thursday.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Goa Police arrested the owner of Curlies beach shack in Anjuna and a suspected drug peddler Dattprashad Gaonkar.
On Friday Phogat’s PA Sudhir Sangwan and his associate, Sukhwinder Singh who travelled to Goa with Phogat on August 22 confessed that they had intentionally made her drink some “obnoxious” chemical. Both the accused will be produced before the court today.
Gaonkar held today had allegedly supplied drugs to Sukhwinder Singh. “Based on the investigation, the police detained the drug peddler who had supplied drugs,” Anjuna Police said.
“Statement of more than 20-25 people have been recorded so far in the case. These include the staff of Curlies Restaurant and others. The owner of the restaurant is being questioned by the police,” police officials said.
Phogat’s PA and his associate were arrested after police accessed the CCTV footage in which the trio were seen partying at a club.
“On the basis of CCTV footage, it was seen that the accused Sudhir Sangwan and his associate Sukhwinder Singh were partying with the deceased at a club. A video establishes that one of them forcefully made the victim consume a substance,” Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh Bishnoi said.
Phogat was cremated at her hometown in Hisar yesterday. Her brother Rinky Dhaka said, “We are satisfied with how the investigation into the murder of my sister has progressed. The CCTV footage has revealed the truth. We cremated my sister today, will look into the further process to get her justice now.”
Rinku Dhaka had earlier filed a complaint alleging that Phogat was murdered by Sudhir Sangwan, her personal trainer along with Sukhwinder Singh who intended “to take over her properties and financial assets to finish her political career.”
“When confronted, Sukhwinder and Sudhir confessed that they intentionally mixed an obnoxious chemical into a liquid and made the victim drink it,” IGP Omvir Singh Bishnoi said.
“The two accused confessed that they intentionally mixed an obnoxious chemical into a liquid and made the victim drink it, which made her feel uneasy, after which they took her to the hotel and then to St. Anthony’s Hospital, where she was declared brought dead,” the Goa police said.
The actor, who rose to fame with her TikTok videos, contested the 2019 Haryana election as a BJP candidate but lost to then Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi (he has since joined the BJP). She also appeared in the reality show Bigg Boss in 2020.