The probe into the death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat will handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Union Home Ministry has decided, reported news agency Press Trust of India, quoting officials. The order follows Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s request to the ministry that the probe be transferred to the CBI.
Sonali Phogat, the BJP leader from Haryana’s Hisar, died in Goa on August 22. Initially, the death was attributed to heart attack, which was challenged by her family.
“We have full faith in the state police but due to continued demands of family of Sonali Phogat, the case will be transferred to the CBI. I will write to the Union home minister to transfer the case,” Mr Sawant said earlier today.
The Goa police have arrested Sonali Phogat’s personal assistant Sudhir Sangwan and his friend Sukhwinder Wasi, who had accompanied her to Goa, and charged them with murder. The police said she was administered methamphetamine drugs by the accused at a restaurant in North Goa hours before her death. Edwin Nunes, the owner of the Curlies Restaurant where she died and the alleged drug peddler, Dattaprasad Gaonkar, have been arrested as well.
Sonali Phogat’s family, especially her young daughter, had called for a CBI probe after the postmortem report revealed multiple bruises on her body. Earlier, they met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar with their demand.
The family has accused the 43-year-old’s personal assistant Sudhir Sangwan and his friend Sukhwinder Wasi of rape and murder. Sudhir Sangwan had raped her earlier and Sonali Phogat had complained to her mother it, the family has said. He made a video of the sexual attack and threatened to release it on social media, the family had claimed.
Known for her TikTok videos, Sonali Phogat debuted as a TV anchor in 2006 and participated in Bigg Boss 14 before joining the BJP two years later.