An official said on Sunday that police in Goa had arrested a fifth person – another drug peddler – in connection with the alleged murder of Haryana BJP leader Sonali Phogat. Late Saturday night, the arrest was made. Rama, alias Ramadas Mandrekar, is accused of supplying drugs to another peddler, Dattaprasad Gaonkar, who is already in custody on suspicion of supplying drugs to Phogat’s close aides and key accused, Sudhir Sagwan and Sukhwinder Singh. The two accompanied Phogat on her trip to Goa, where they allegedly spiked her drink with drugs.
Phogat, a former TikTok celebrity who rose to prominence after appearing on the reality TV show Big Boss 14, died on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday, 27 August, met with the family of Sonali Phogat, a deceased BJP leader from Hisar, Haryana. Following the meeting, the chief minister’s office stated that they will write to Goa authorities requesting a CBI investigation into the death of the BJP leader.
Rupesh Phogat, Sonali Phogat’s sister, said after the meeting, “CM Khattar assured us there will be a CBI probe and we will get justice.” Everything will become clear. The video clearly shows that it was done forcefully. She told me that something was wrong with her after her phone went off.”
Sonali Phogat was allegedly drugged at a Goa restaurant.
Jivba Dalvi (deputy superintendent of police) stated on Saturday, that Phogat was given methamphetamine along with another (as-yet unidentified substance) recovered from the washroom of the restaurant where Phogat and her associates dined before her death.
Edwin Nunes, the owner of the Curlies restaurant where Phogat and her associates partied in the hours before her death, has also been arrested.
Police said Sagwan and Sukhwinder Singh obtained drugs from Gaonkar, who worked at the Hotel Grand Leoney Resort in Anjuna where they were staying.
Nunes and Gaonkar will appear in court in Goa today.
Since the investigation began, several CCTV videos from the restaurant have surfaced on social media. In one, Phogat is seen dancing with Sagwan while the latter forces her to drink something she spits out.
Another video showed the accused escorting Phogat out of the restaurant despite her inability to walk alone. On her way out, she is seen staggering and almost falling near the staircase.
While doctors said Phogat died of a heart attack, her brother claimed it was a murder and accused Sagwan and Singh of being involved in her death.
A local court has ordered that Sagwan and Singh be held in police custody for 10 days.