In a letter to the CBI, the US government’s legal attache in its New Delhi embassy has conveyed the FBI’s willingness to provide technical and forensic assistance to the Mumbai Police in investigating Bollywood actress Jiah Khan’s death. Khan, a US citizen, was found hanging from the ceiling of her Juhu residence on June 3 last year.
The FBI’s offer follows a letter from Jiah Khan’s mother Rabiya to US Ambassador Nancy J Powell last October.
In an email on Wednesday, Rosemary Macray, chief of the American Citizen Services Unit in the Mumbai Consulate, informed Rabya that “the CBI will forward it (the letter) to the appropriate local authorities. The legal attache needs to wait until the Indian authorities agree to partnering with them in the investigation before they schedule a meeting with you.”
But the CBI spokesperson in New Delhi said, “At present, we are unaware of any such letter. However, we will be checking on the development if there is any.”
Rabiya alleged that the Mumbai Police had suppressed facts in its probe and hence she had approached the US authorities.
“Soon after the death of my daughter, I wrote to the US authorities. I have written to them seeking help as Jiah was a US citizen,” Rabiya told The Indian Express later.
In an earlier communication to Rabiya, the acting chief of the consular section, Aaron M Hellman, had said, “I am writing in reference to your letter to Ambassador Powell… An FBI official is willing to send a letter to the Indian Police Services to offer US technical and forensic assistance in the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police has filed chargesheet and charged Sooraj Pancholi, son of actor Aditya Pancholi, with abetment to suicide.