For the first time since the 1 April death of his live-in partner, TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee, Rahul Raj Singh has presented his version of what transpired.
In an interview with The Times of India, published on Thursday, Rahul spoke about his allegedly troubled relationship with Pratyusha, the decision to terminate her pregnancy and the reports that he had financially exploited her. He also claimed that Pratyusha had a drinking problem.
Pratyusha was drinking heavily on the day of her death
According to Rahul’s statement, Pratyusha had consumed a fair quantity of alcohol over the night of March 31 (as they partied with a friend) and through the day on 1 April. He says he left the apartment to get some food, at which time he asked Pratyusha to stop drinking so much. It was when he returned that he found the bell had been turned off and the door double locked. This was when his neighbour’s domestic help offered to climb into his balcony from the adjoining flat’s and unlock the door from within. The duo found Pratyusha hanging from the ceiling fan.
Her finances were mismanaged
While Rahul has been accused of swindling Pratyusha to the tune of several lakhs, he contends that it was mismanagement that was to blame for the Balika Vadhu actress’ financial straits. He has said that Pratyusha had taken on several loans (before she met him), was not paying her EMIS on time, didn’t have a passport or an Aadhar card, and did not have a solo bank account. Rahul says that he helped her with several of these tasks. And in the single most poignant insight the interview has to offer, Rahul points out: It was too much pressure for a 23-year-old to handle.
The TV actor-producer has contested all the allegations raised against him by various sources. He has said that his relationship with Pratyusha was not violent in any way, although they argued like any regular couple; she was also fully aware of his previous marriage and subsequent divorce. He has also said that reports stating he had previously duped women financially, were false.
Pratyusha’s parents treated him ‘like a son’
In his interview, Rahul has said that he was kept away from Pratyusha’s funeral by her parents, while previously they had treated him as a son. He says that he had even stayed with Pratyusha’s mother for a while (before she moved out of Mumbai). Their present allegations against him he attributes to influence from the wrong quarters.
The decision to terminate the pregnancy was mutual
The histopathological examination of Pratyusha’s uterine tissues had revealed that the actress had possibly terminated a pregnancy a few days before her death. Rahul says that the couple had jointly decided to go in for an abortion as they were intending to get married several months later. He says that the couple went to the clinic together after Pratyusha missed her period, and that he returned to get her the prescribed medication.
Rahul added that “Everything has been presented to the court and the truth will be revealed in due course”. His next bail hearing has been set for 25 April by the Bombay High Court.
Read the full interview here.