The dramatic turn in the investigation of the sudden death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat has brought the spotlight back to the infamous 'Curlies' pub in Anjuna, Goa, where the former Bigg Boss contestant was last seen before she complained of unsure health.
Goa police on Thursday arrested two persons and charged them with murder in connection with the death of the Haryana-based leader. As per reports, Phogat's autopsy reports have revealed blunt force trauma injuries.
Murder not heart attack
Goa Police on Thursday pressed a charge of murder against two associates of Phogat soon after the autopsy was conducted on her body. Initially, media reported a heart attack as the cause of death. New revelations in the case, however, came to light following Phogat's family's allegations of foul play.
The postmortem was conducted by a panel of forensic experts from the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Thursday morning after her family, which has been demanding a CBI probe into the death, agreed to the procedure. Dr Sunil Shrikant Chimbolkar of the Forensic Science Department of GMCH in his report reserved the opinion on the cause of death.
As per the postmortem report, Phogat's body had multiple blunt force injuries across her body. "There are multiple blunt force injuries over the body". Two persons, Sudhir Sagwan and Sukhwinder Wasi, said to be associates of the 42-year-old leader, have been arrested in connection with the case and charged with murder.
Curlies back in news
Phogat who was brought dead to the St Anthony Hospital in Anjuna in North Goa district on August 23 morning. As per reports, Sangwan and Wasi had accompanied Phogat when she arrived in Goa on August 22. Phogat had visited Curlies restaurant on Goa's famous Anjuna beach before coming back to her hotel and complaining of uneasiness. The case has also brought back attention to Curlies, the pub which ran into a patch of bad publicity 14 years ago when a British tourist was killed. Scarlett Eden Keeling went missing in 2008. The victim's mother had then claimed her daughter said she had visited 'Curlies' just before coming to the place where she was sexually assaulted and left to die on the beach.
Now, the restaurant is again in news following the death of Phogat, whose nephew Mohinder Phogat has claimed she was taken to Curlies by the two arrested accused, Sudhir Sagwan and Sukhwinder Wasi, on the fateful night of her death. When contacted, the owner of Curlies, Edwin Nunes, confirmed Sonali Phogat had come to his restaurant along with others.
“No one from our staff knew them. They were like normal customers for us,” he said.
Who is Sonali Phogat?
The daughter of a farmer, Sonali Phogat hailed from Hisar in Haryana and found fame on TikTok, the popular video hosting service now banned in India. She first appeared on screen in 2006 with a show on Doordarshan and went on to star in several Haryanvi music videos and web series. Phogat joined BJP in 2018 and was eventually appointed as the President of the party's Mahila Morcha. Phogat's husband Sanjay Phogat was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Hisar. The 42-year-old is survived by a young daughter. She had unsuccessfully contested elections on a BJP ticket in 2019 and was also in-charge of BJP's Scheduled Tribe wing in Haryana. In 2019, Phogat was slammed for making divisive comments like claiming that those who did not chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' were from Pakistan. She was a contestant on Season 14 of the reality TV show Bigg Boss.
(With inputs from PTI)