The BBC’s three-part documentary Death In Bollywood kicks off tonight, exploring the mysterious death of actress Jiah Khan.
The Bollywood star was found dead aged 25 in June 2013. Police concluded her death was suicide, but her family believe that the truth has not yet surfaced.
According to them, various questions about the night of Jiah’s death remain unanswered – for example, police never uncovered the tracksuit she was seen wearing on CCTV just 15 minutes before her death.
Jiah’s family concluded that her boyfriend, actor Sooraj Pancholi, drove her to suicide.
What happened to Jiah Khan?
Jiah Khan was a British-American actress and singer who worked in Indian films.
On June 3 2013, her body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her bedroom at her family’s home in Mumbai.
The police ruled her death as suicide and re-confirmed this again in 2016 following an extensive investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a hearing at the Bombay High Court.
Pancholi, who lived with Jiah, was taken into police custody during the investigation of her suicide on June 10, 2013. The Bombay High Court granted him bail the following month.
One year later, the CBI was ordered by the High Court to further investigate the death, however, it wasn’t until August 2016 that they ruled out murder in the case.
As per its investigations, the cause of Jiah’s death was ‘suicide by hanging’.
Jiah’s mother, Rabia, independently hired British forensics expert Jason Payne-James, who concluded in a September 2016 report that Jiah’s hanging was staged and the marks on her face and neck indicate it was not simply suicide.
In January 2017, the prosecution requested that charges of sexual assault and murder be laid against Pancholi.
On January 31, 2018, nearly five years after Jiah’s death, a court in Mumbai charged Pancholi with abetting Khan’s suicide.
The criminal case was expected to begin in March 2018, but as of yet, it remains unsettled.
Pancholi has denied involvement in Jiah’s death, describing himself as a scapegoat for her decision to end her life.
Death In Bollywood airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two.
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