Goa govt mulls handing over Sonali Phogat murder probe to CBI

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Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Sunday that if need be, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be given charge of the probe into the alleged murder of Haryana BJP leader Sonali Phogat.

“Haryana CM spoke with me, requested thorough investigation. He wants CBI to take over after family members met him and asked for same. I don’t have an issue with it. After all formalities today, if required, will give this case to CBI,” said Pramod Sawant, as quoted by news agency ANI.

Phogat’s family welcomed the news. “We are satisfied that the case is going to CBI. At least we will get justice now,” Phogat’s brother Rinku Dhaka told India Today.

At a meeting with Sonali Phogat’s family members on Saturday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had assured them that his government will write to the Goa government requesting a CBI probe in the case.

Phogat, who first found fame on TikTok, was brought dead to St Anthony Hospital at Anjuna in north Goa district on August 23 morning. Doctors had said prima facie she died of a heart attack.

An autopsy was conducted on her body on Thursday morning and soon after, Anjuna police added the charge of murder to the case. The autopsy had revealed that Phogat had multiple “blunt force injuries” on her body.

Police have so far arrested Phogat’s personal assistant Sudhir Sagwan, another aide Sukhwinder Singh, owner of Curlies Restaurant Edwin Nunes and two alleged drug peddlers — Dattaprasad Gaonkar and Rama Mandrekar.

Mandrekar had allegedly sold drugs to Gaonkar, which he later sold to Sagwan.

Earlier, India Today had accessed CCTV footage showing Phogat being forcibly given a drink by one of her aides at a Goa club, hours before her death. On Friday, Goa Police revealed that the accused confessed to spiking Sonali Phogat’s drink with MDMA, a recreational drug.

While Singh and Sagwan have been charged with murder, Nunes and Gaonkar have been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Phogat’s cremation was held on Friday at her farm house in Hisar. The funeral was held in the presence of her close family members and friends.

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