Television actress Pratyusha Banerjee, known for her role of adult Anandi in the serial Balika Vadhu, allegedly committed suicide in Mumbai on Friday, police said. Pratyusha hanged herself from a fan at her Kandivli residence but was found and taken to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital where she succumbed.
Police have taken Banerjee's boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh for interrogation and her post mortem report will be released by 4 pm on Saturday. Her body is currently at Sidharth Hospital in Goregaon. The investigation is happening at Bangur Nagar police station in Goregaon.
According to sources within the police, the last person to have visited her house was the laundry man.
However, Singh gave his first statement to the police earlier today, claiming he was the one who took Banerjee's body to the hospital.
"We used to stay in a 2 bedroom flat. We had two keys; one key was with Pratyusha and the other was with me. When I entered the bedroom, I found Pratyusha hanging from the ceiling. I got very scared. Immediately, I called the neighbours and with their help, I took her to Kokilaben Hospital. We assumed that she was alive, but she was not. I got so scared that I did not inform the police. It was the hospital authorities who informed them. After the doctor’s declaration, I called up Pratyusha’s family members and few of our close friends," said Singh, as reported by Pinkvilla.
Initial reports suggested she was facing a turmoil in her personal life.
Her colleagues from the industry and her fans are in complete disbelief with news that the talented young girl, all of 24, is no more.
Veteran actress Surekha Sikri, who played Dadisa to Pratyusha's character in Balika Vadhu, told IANS: "I am absolutely shocked. I knew her, she was very sweet. She was a sensitive person, she must have taken something to heart and must have got really emotional."
According to Tanuj Garg, former CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, she had plans to marry her longtime boyfriend Rahul Singh.
"Terrible, terrible news about Pratyusha Banerjee. Met her once at a party. How extreme must pressures be to drive one to take one's own life. Friends met Pratyusha Banerjee and her boyfriend Rahul (who owns a production house) on Holi and they seemed happy. They were to get married," Garg shared on Twitter.
Social media went into a tizzy once the news of Pratyusha's suicide surfaced, with many hoping that it is an April Fools' joke.
Hailing from Jharkhand, Pratyusha catapulted to fame with her role in Balika Vadhu between 2010-2013.
She was later seen in the reality dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5, Bigg Boss 7 and hosted some episodes of Savdhaan India. She recently appeared in Sasural Simar Ka.
Pratyusha was earlier dating businessman named Makrand Malhotra, with whom she had a bitter break-up and against whom she had lodged a complaint for abusive behaviour.
Earlier this year, Pratyusha had filed an FIR against eight men, including three policemen, claiming they tried to barge into her residence here in relation with a car loan that her boyfriend Rahul Singh had taken from a bank.
Actress Avika Gor told India Today TV that she couldn't believe Pratyusha had killed herself. "I have never seen her depressed or upset," she said.
Other celebrities too shared their sorrow on Twitter:
Shocking..Cant believe this news..RIP #pratyushabanerjee
— Sambhavna Seth (@sambhavnaseth) April 1, 2016
Such a sad end of a bubbly,energetic n talented town girl Pratyusha Banerjee,Indian TV will always miss you "Anandi".RIP
— Dr Kumar Vishvas (@DrKumarVishwas) April 1, 2016
This world is Not gonna let u live but You gotta live for God got u in this world. RIP Pratyusha Banerjee. I am very sad to hear this news
— PAYAL ROHATGI (@Payal_Rohatgi) April 1, 2016
With inputs from IANS