Her associates — Sudhir Sangvan and Sukhwinder Singh — saw on CCTV footage from the shack that was surrounded. Goa DGP Jaspal Singh said Sangvan confessed to the crime and told police that he and Sukhwinder took Phogat to Curlies, where he mixed some “obnoxious” substances into her drink and forced her to drink. Phogat, 42 years old, died on August 23.
“We arrested the accused to prevent possible destruction of evidence and influence on witnesses because Phogat’s autopsy report did not mention the exact cause of death, which will only be determined. after organ examination, and histopathological and serological reports, all Singh said.
Goa IGP Omvir Singh Bishnoi said Phogat’s brother, Rinku Dhaka, mentioned sexual assault in the police complaint, but an autopsy failed to confirm this.
Bishnoi said that the defendant gave Phogat “synthetic drugs” and “it appeared to be the cause of death”.
“Based on CCTV footage from the Curlies Club, it was noticed that Sangvan and his partner Sukhwinder were partying with the deceased at the club. In the footage, one of the defendants is seen giving her some narcotics forcibly. When we were confronted with these facts, Sangvan and Sukhwinder confessed that they intentionally mixed some hateful chemicals into the liquid and gave it to Phogat to drink,” Bishnoi said.
“They haven’t revealed what it is (the drug). We will try to find the source,” he said. According to sources, it “could be MDMA”.
Recounting what happened after drinking hard alcohol, Bishnoi said: “The victim was not conscious and the defendant was trying to keep his balance. At 4:30 a.m. (Tuesday), when she lost control, the defendant took her to the toilet, and they stayed there for two hours. But the defendant has not given us any explanation for this.”
Police said Phogat began to lose control of herself around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and she used the restroom at least three times. A private hospital at Anjuna in northern Goa declared Phogat dead on arrival on Tuesday morning.
Bishnoi said taxi drivers taking Phogat from Curlies to her hotel, and then from the hotel to the hospital, would also be summoned.
Referring to the forceful injuries mentioned in Phogat’s post-mortem report, he said, “Those injuries were not serious enough to result in death. They were only slightly injured. When we confronted the defendant, they said she may have had an abrasion when they picked her up in the restroom.”
Bishnoi also said police suspect there was “economic interest” behind the killing. “We will investigate from every angle and no accused will leave the crime,” he said.
Phogat’s brother, Dhaka, has asked the CBI to investigate her death, alleging that she was murdered with the intention of appropriating her property and assets, and ending her political career.
In Haryana, politicians cutting across parties have called for a CBI investigation. BJP MLA for Hisar Kuldeep Bishnoi said he has asked CM Manohar Lal Khattar to start a CBI investigation. Phogat unsuccessfully contested in the 2019 parliamentary polls against Bishnoi, then in Parliament, from Adampur.
Even former AAP state presidents Naveen Jaihind and Bajrang Garg of Congress have requested a CBI investigation. “It looks like a big conspiracy has been made…” Garg said.