Karan Joseph death: Family, friends and fans unite to target Rishi Shah, launch social media campaign for 'fair probe'
Karan Joseph, a young musician, reportedly jumped to his death in Mumbai on 9 September.
According to media reports, Joseph, a talented pianist known as 'Madfingers' was battling depression for a while. An accidental death report was filed with the Bandra Police.
However, Joseph's family, friends and fans have carried out a concerted social media campaign to demand a "fair investigation" in his death and indictment of his manager, Rishi Shah, who they believe is involved in Joseph's death.
They have also denied media reports that he was disturbed or depressed.
Joseph's father Thomas, released a letter to the media, saying that Shah wanted to sign an exclusive contract with his son and was alienating him from other musicians and bands.
Family, friends demand "fair probe"
Joseph's family has repeatedly been claiming that he did not commit suicide but was murdered.
At a press conference, Joseph's father said that his son's laptop and other belongings are missing. He also questioned media reports that described his son as depressed.
According to a report in The Quint, a series of text messages between Joseph and his friend Randolph revealed that the musician was allegedly being beaten up.
Joseph's former girlfriend also said that Shah and Joseph's other flatmates should be interrogated, according to a report in Midday. "I spoke to Karan a month ago, and he didn't show any signs of depression or anxiety. I think it may have been more than a case of depression and may not have been suicide. You'll need to track down Rishi and his roommates and check," she told Midday.
Questioning allegations of depression, the family said, "To suggest that he was disturbed, depressed, financially weak or otherwise unstable is not just doing his memory a disservice but is patently untrue."
Who is Rishi Shah?
Rishi Shah is the CEO of Crossbones Media that published Rave Magazine. He took over as Joseph's manager.
According to a report in Midday, actor Kubbra Sait described Shah as a "certified medical marijuana prescriber". Shah claimed Rave would be India's answer to Rolling Stone magazine, according to the report.
Joseph's friends and fellow musicians have also approached the police and claimed that Joseph's death was not just abetment of suicide, but also culpable homicide, Mumbai Mirror reported. They also said that Shah promised big contracts to musicians and later emotionally, verbally and sometimes even physically abused them. Shah has also been accused of stealing other band's music.
Rock band Underground Authority, also put a Facebook post, alleging that Shah stole the music they recorded at a city studio and did not give them credit.
Shah vehemently denied these allegations, according to another report in Midday.
#JusticeforKaran launched on social media
A Facebook page demanding justice for Joseph has also been set up.
Meanwhile, Joseph's fans also attempted to get the hashtag justiceforKaran trending on Twitter.
— Riya Patel (@letinywhisk) September 13, 2017
'Karan was abused by Rishi' According to a report in The Quint, Joseph's friends alleged that Shah hooked the pianist on drugs to control him and abused him. "He created an environment for Joseph that made him extremely vulnerable. He cut off Joseph from his friends," one of Joseph's friends told The Quint. Even Joseph's colleagues had a difficult time dealing with Shah, according to the report. He, along with friend Suzana and his domestic help Vinod were at home when Joseph allegedly committed suicide, according to Shah, according to various media reports.
His family also alleged that Shah desperately wanted Joseph to join him and sign an exclusive business contract with him for Rave. Shah also contacted Joseph's family members and requested them to come to Mumbai to discuss the contract, they claimed.
"This is the only reason why my wife and I went to Mumbai," Thomas said in his letter, adding that Shah also enticed Joseph with the offer to buy him "one of the world's most expensive keyboards."
Thomas also stated in his letter that Shah has steadfastly avoided mentioning that he was pushing Joseph to sign an exclusive contract, which he believes is the root cause of the incident.
Referring to Joseph's correspondence with his friend Randolph, Thomas claimed in his open letter that this indicates that were some persons/person who were intimidating him to a point that ultimately resulted in his death.
According to this Firstpost report, a woman who lives on the floor below Joseph told the police that she heard a lot of crying and screaming on 9 September and when she rushed upstairs with her husband, a girl named Vidhi Shah opened the door and informed them that everything is fine.
Vidhi is Rishi's secretary. The Joseph family claims that her phone records from August 2017 will throw light on what transpired since Joseph and Rishi met. Vidhi also reportedly sent messages to Joseph's mother two days after his death asking for help and threatening her with "consequences" if help was not given.
According to reports, Joseph rushed to the window and leapt to his death from the 12th floor flat at around 8.45 am.
He reportedly sent a message to his mother a day before his death and told her that he was in financial trouble. He also reportedly said that he felt threatened by the people around him.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 19, 2017 17:13:36 IST