Sonali Phogat case, which was earlier considered as the case of natural death, now has turned it’s path towards a murder case.

Sonali Phogat (42 years old) was a famous Indian model, actress, social media influencer and entrepreneur from Bhuthan Kalan village, Fathehabad, Haryana. Apart from these, she was a well known politician who joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2008. She was living alone with her daughter Yashodhra Phogat (15 years old) after the death of her husband.

Sonali died of a suspected heart attack in Goa on 23 August 2022 (Tuesday), with her family questioning the circumstances leading to her death. She took her last breath at St Anthony’s Hospital in Anjuna, Goa, where she was admitted after her complaint of feeling uneasy.

The doctors declared her dead because of a heart attack, but her family members suspected the death. They said that Sonali was healthy and fit and never had any heart related problems. According to the family members Sonali had hinted them on a call regarding something fishy before she died. They also claimed that after Sonali’s death some of her belongings from their Haryana farmhouse were stolen.

The family members gave their consent for the autopsy. They wanted the postmortem in New Delhi’s AIIMS but agreed to one in Goa after the police filed a murder case. 

Sonali’s brother Rinku Dhaka filed a complaint alleging that his sister was raped and being blackmailed for an explicit video. Dhaka claimed that three years ago Sonali told him that she was sexually assaulted by one of her aides who spiked her food and later blackmailed her.

Rinku Dhaka said that Sudhir Sangwan had threatened to destroy his sister’s political and acting career and had seized her phones, property records, ATM cards, and house keys.

The four-page complaint signed by Dhaka stated that the duo “had committed Phogat’s murder to usurp her property and it was a political conspiracy”.

The complaint also stated that over three months ago, Phogat had told her family members that often after dinner, she felt tension in her limbs and found it difficult to move. “Her PA had removed the cook from his job and said that he would handle the food requirements,” said Dhaka .

He alleged that this was a “pre-planned murder” and said that Phogat had informed her family about her visit to Chandigarh from her hometown Hisar but the visit to Goa was not part of the plan.

He also told the police that before she died Sonali talked to her mother, sister and brother-in-law for a few hours where she sounded disturbed and shared her misgivings about her personal assistants Sudhir Sangwan and his friend Sukhwinder Wasi.

 The family members claimed that Sonali was taken to the ‘Curlies’ restaurant of Goa by her two assistants. She was told there is a man from Haryana working in Curlies whom they wanted to meet. The restaurant owner Edwin Nunes confirmed that Sonali Phogat visited his restaurant along with her assistants but no staff knew them and they were just like any other customers.

After the family members of Sonali gave consent for a postmortem, the autopsy was conducted on 25 August 2022 (Thursday) at Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa. The autopsy report confirmed ‘multiple blunt force injuries’ on the body of Sonali.

Based on the autopsy report and complain of Dhaka an FIR against Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Wasi has been registered by the Goa police under section 302 for murder. Both the suspects have been arrested by the police and investigation is going on.

The mortal remains of Sonali Phogat will be reaching her hometown on Friday. Her brother said “We always felt that there was foul play and the same thing came out. So far, we are satisfied with the ongoing investigation… We demand justice,”. Her daughter Yashodhara has also sought justice for her mother.

Categories: Case Studies


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