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Pratyusha Banerjee, best known for her role as ‘Anandi’ in the popular serial Balika Vadhu, allegedly committed suicide on Friday.
While the police have registered an “accidental death report” for now, sources said Banerjee, 25, is suspected to have hanged herself at her Goregaon residence. She was rushed to the Kokilaben Hospital, where she was declared dead. The police were informed by the hospital authorities.
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DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni said Banerjee had “prima facie committed suicide by hanging from ceiling fan” at about 5 pm on Friday. “She was taken to Kokilaben Hospital by her friend where she was declared dead… Investigation is on,” he said, adding that the cause of the death would be confirmed only after performing a post-mortem.
Dr Ram Narain, director of Kokilaben Hospital, confirmed the death.
The police confirmed that a man identifying himself as Rahul Raj Singh (Banerjee’s boyfriend) called the control room to inform about the suicide. No suicide note has been recovered yet, said the police.
According to police sources, Banerjee had called up a close friend from the television industry earlier this week and revealed that she had taken to alcohol as she was depressed. The actress was reportedly dejected with the lack of good roles.
Her last WhatsApp status message read: “mar ke bhi munh na tujhse modna”.
Banerjee shot to fame in 2010, when she took over the lead role of ‘Anandi’ in Balika Vadhu. After some talk of a fallout with the producers of the show, the actor quit the role and was replaced by Toral Rasputra. Banerjee later participated in reality shows like Bigg Boss and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, and was last seen in Power Couple with her boyfriend.
The actress’s last lead role was in Hum Hain Na (Sony), in which she replaced the original female lead Kashis Vora. However, the show went off air in March 2015.
“It is unbelievable that she could commit suicide because I know her and she is a strong woman,” said actress Dolly Bindra.
Even as Banerjee’s friends and co-actors gathered at the hospital, the medical authorities were yet to release an official statement. The doctors confirmed that they were waiting for Banerjee’s mother to arrive from Jamshedpur.
In January this year, a non cognizable offence was registered against Singh after he defaulted on a bank loan and allegedly assaulted a loan recovery agent. Singh had listed Banerjee’s residence as his address. The actress later alleged that eight men posing as policemen barged into her house to claim the money and molested her. The police denied the charge and said they went to her house to look for Singh. The matter is still under probe.