Mumbai: Television actress Pratyusha Banerjee, who shot to fame for her role as Anandi in ‘Balika Vadhu’, committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan at her Goregaon residence on Friday. She was 24. Her fiance, actor-producer Rahul Raj, found her hanging around 6.30pm and informed her uncle. She was rushed to the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Andheri where doctors pronounced her dead and informed the cops.
According to media reports published in December 2015, Pratyusha was to tie the knot with Raj. Her WhatsApp status on Friday read: “Marr ke bhi muh na tujhse modna.” Their relationship was reportedly volatile. Raj did not answer any phone calls from media persons on Friday. “I spoke to her mother who is in Jamshedpur. Her mother will first fly to Kolkata and then reach Mumbai by Saturday,” said TV actor Dolly Bindra. Pratyusha’s former boyfriend Makrand Malhotra, who was present at the hospital, is believed to be arranging air tickets for her family to fly to Mumbai.
In 2013, Pratyusha had filed a police complaint against Malhotra, accusing him of verbal abuse and death threats on phone and in person.
After her death on Friday, Bangur Nagar police began to questioned her neighbours at the Goregaon building where she lived. Cops are also speaking to her friends from the TV industry. Investigators will go through her call details, messages, social network and email accounts for leads.
Pratyusha’s TV friends said the family was also going through financial difficulties.
Actors Anup Soni, Meghna Naidu, Gurmeet Chaudhary, Debina Bonerjee, Sara Khan, Jay Bhanushhali, Sachin Shroff, Dolly Bindra, Ajay Chaudhary, Smita Bansal, Rakhi Sawant and others reached Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. Ram Narain, CEO of the Andheri hospital, refused to comment.
Bindra told media: “I saw her dead body at the hospital. She had put sindoor in her hair. ” Designer Rohit Verma said the last time he met her, she wanted a wedding lehenga designed.
Sidharth Sengupta, who directed her in Balika Vadhu, said, “I’m at a loss for words. Though she quit the serial some years back, she used to call me and the team for her birthday every August.”
Meanwhile, this January, Pratyusha had lodged an FIR with Kandivli police against eight men, including some cops, for allegedly barging into her home at Kandivli and misbehaving with her. She had taken a car loan a year ago and had defaulted on an EMI of Rs 5,000. She claimed that on December 31, a loan recovery agent turned up at her place when Raj was present. “We paid him the EMI and he left,” Pratyusha had told media.
But the agent, Amit Dalvi, said he had gone with cops as Raj had bashed him up on New Year’s Eve. He denied misbehaving with Pratyusha.
Twitter saw an outpouring of messages, including from Abhishek Bachchan who wrote: “What have u done Pratyusha Banerjee, I wish it was an April Fool news, She was just 24! RIP Aanandi.”