Mumbai: The city police, probing actress Jiah Khan's alleged suicide, on Saturday recorded the statement of her mother Rabia Khan who claimed her daughter did not hang herself but was murdered by a person 'very close to her', apparently pointing to her boyfriend Suraj Pancholi, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi-Zarina Wahab.
The development comes three days after the Bombay High Court had asked police to carry out further investigations on allegations made by Rabia in a petition that Jiah had been murdered and not killed herself.
A bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel had asked Juhu police to record the statement of Rabia Khan on October 26 at the police station while disposing of Rabia's petition.
"Accordingly, Rabia arrived at the police station at about 11 AM and her statement was recorded several times. An emotional Rabia claimed her daughter did not end her life but was killed by the one who was very close to her. Her lawyer was also present," said an officer at Juhu police station. This points the finger at Suraj, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, the officer added.
"She (Rabia) elaborated the same things that were brought to the notice of the Bombay High Court by her lawyer," the officer claimed.
On June 10, Suraj had been arrested for allegedly driving Jiah to suicide, on the basis of a note left behind by her which mentioned that she was 'heartbroken' in her relationship with him and fed up with his 'womanising'.
He was released from jail on July 2 after the High Court granted him bail. The six-page note written by the 25-year-old actress, who was found hanging at her Juhu residence June 3, threw light on the rocky relationship between the two. In the High Court, Jiah's mother alleged it has come to light that her daughter may have been killed and it was made to look like a suicide.
To support her argument, Rabia annexed to the petition an independent forensic expert's report which indicated this case to be of homicidal death rather than suicide.
Rabia had said in her petition that she had strong reasons to suspect that the probe was carried out by police in a manner to look as if it was a case of suicide. She had alleged the Pancholi family used its clout to 'manage' police.
Rabia had alleged Jiah may have been hanged after being killed and also cited reasons to support this theory. She had argued a person who commits suicide would have his or her eyes popping and tongue protruding out but in the case of Jiah it was not so. Also, in such cases lung or brain hemorrhage is generally noticed but in this case, this was not observed.
The petition had said that besides ligature marks that occur in death due to hanging, injury marks were noticed on the face and the body of the actor. An injury was noticed on the right side of her lips and a mark on her left arm as if someone had held her tightly.
While police claimed that Jiah had hanged herself with a muslin 'dupatta', forensic expert Dr R N Jerajani opined that the depth of ligature marks in Jiah's case was difficult to achieve with a soft material.
Dr Jerajani had opined that ligature marks on Jiah's neck were not the ones which are usually found on the body of a person who hangs self from a ceiling fan.
The possibility of strangulation is not ruled out in this case, he said in the forensic report. Rabia had argued in her petition that the CCTV camera showed Jiah had entered her house a few minutes before she allegedly committed suicide.
At that time, she was wearing a track suit but her body was discovered in a night gown. Would a person about to commit suicide change her dress, the petition asked As the ceiling fan was located in between two single beds, it was not possible for Jiah to hang herself without a stool and there was no stool in her house, the petition had said.