The CBI has taken over the probe into the mysterious death of Haryana BJP leader Sonali Phogat in Goa last month, officials said Thursday.
The central probe agency re-registered the FIR of Goa Police on a reference from the Ministry of Home Affairs which was routed to it through the Department of Personnel and Training, they said.
Teams of the CBI along with CFSL experts will reach Goa to collect documents and interact with the local police officials and doctors who had examined the former TV anchor after she was brought to the hospital.
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The sources said viscera samples will give a definitive clue about the causes of Phogat’s death.
The ministry had referred the case to the CBI after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The home ministry recommended to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to get the case probed by the CBI, an official privy to the development said.
The CBI functions under the administrative control of the DoPT.
Phogat, from Hisar in Haryana, was brought dead to a hospital in Goa in the intervening night of August 22-23 after heavy partying at Curlies restaurant at Anjuna beach.
A former Tik Tok star and a contestant on the reality TV show Big Boss, 43-year old Phogat had arrived in Goa with two of her male aides–Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, a day before the incident.
In a CCTV footage of the restaurant that emerged after her death, she was seen dancing with Sangwan. The aide is also purportedly seen forcing her to drink water which she instantly spits out.
Another video shows Phogat being escorted out of the restaurant by her aides, now arrested in which she can be seen staggering and almost falling near the staircase on her way out.
Police had said Sangwan and Singh allegedly mixed some “obnoxious substance” in water and forced Phogat to drink it.
Phogat was administered methamphetamine, and some left-over drug was recovered from the restaurant’s washroom, Deputy Superintendent of Police Jivba Dalvi had said.
Police have so far arrested five people in connection with the case including the aides who accompanied her to Goa Sangwan and Singh, two alleged drug suppliers Dattaprasad Gaonkar and Rama Mandrekar and owner of restaurant Edwin Nunes.
It is alleged that Gaonkar had provided drugs to Singh and Sangwan. Mandrekar had sold the drugs to Gaonkar.
The doctors said she had had a heart attack, but her brother alleged that Sagwan and Singh played a role in her death.
The arrests were made and a First Information Report for murder was registered after the autopsy report said there were multiple “blunt force injuries” on her body.
Police had said “economic interest” could be a motive behind her alleged killing.