Police question his associate Aruna Chadha and MDLR group’s legal adviser Ankit Ahluwalia
More than 48 hours after young Geetika Sharma, a former flight attendant with the now defunct MDLR Airlines, was found hanging at her Ashok Vihar residence here on Sunday, the former Haryana Minister and owner of MDLR group Gopal Kanda was served a notice by the Delhi Police on Tuesday to make himself available for questioning.
It is learnt that a police team visited Mr. Kanda’s residence in Haryana to serve the notice. It was received by his wife as Mr. Kanda was not present there. In her suicide note, Geetika had alleged that Mr. Kanda and his associate Aruna Chadha had ruined her life and had been threatening her family members.
The police on Monday questioned Ms. Chadha and also the MDLR group’s legal advisor, Ankit Ahluwalia, who had allegedly called up Geetika on her mobile phone a day before she allegedly took the extreme step. Her family members alleged that Geetika went into depression after her telephonic conversation with Mr. Ahluwalia.
Recalling the events on August 3, when both he and Geetika were in Mumbai to attend her brother Ankit’s fashion show, her cousin Gaurav said on Tuesday that Mr. Ahluwalia had called both Ankit and Geetika that night. “After talking to him (Mr. Ahluwalia), my sister looked very depressed. Initially, I thought it was because of the fatigue. Hence, I did not ask a lot of questions. Even after we returned, she did not speak much about her conversation with Mr. Ahluwalia,” said Gaurav.
While Mr. Ahluwalia made himself available for questioning on Tuesday morning, Ms. Chadha approached the police in the evening and her questioning continued till late at night. While the legal advisor was asked about the last conversation he had with Geetika, the police sought clarification from Ms. Chadha over the allegations of harassment made against her by the former flight attendant.
Geetika’s family on Tuesday accused Mr. Kanda of “influencing the investigation” and demanded a CBI probe in the case. Geetika’s brother Ankit alleged that Mr. Kanda had visited his residence and admitted to having sent a “forged letter” purportedly in the name of a Gurgaon Station House Officer to the Dubai-based Airline Company where she had joined after the MDLR Airlines stopped operations. The letter alleged that she had an outstanding loan in India.
“He apologised to my mother and then took my family for a trip to Shirdi,” said Ankit. The family alleged that it was because of the letter that Geetika had to quit her job and come back to India.
In the FIR registered under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and Sector 506 (criminal intimidation) read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, Geetika’s mother Anuradha alleged that she had called up Mr. Kanda on August 4 but he did not answer. When he later called her from another number, she enquired from him about a previous call made by Ms. Chadha, asking about the papers which Geetika was supposed to sign. To this, Mr. Kanda allegedly asked Anuradha to send her daughter to his office to sign those papers. The police are trying to ascertain the nature of those documents.
Anuradha has in the FIR said that Mr. Kanda had sponsored Geetika’s MBA course which she was pursuing after she left his company in June.
Although the police are yet to officially receive Geetika’s post-mortem report, preliminary findings have reportedly suggested that she died in the early hours of Sunday. The report is expected to be ready by Thursday.