Shock and disbelief enveloped the Bollywood fraternity after young actor Jiah Khan was found dead at her Mumbai residence late Monday night.
The 25-year-old New York-born and London-bred Ms. Khan, whose real name was Nafisa, was said to have allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her apartment in Juhu.
The actor, who had made a dream debut opposite legend Amitabh Bachchan in 2007’s Nishabd, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, was said to have been in a relationship with Suraj Pancholi, the son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.
Sources said that while Ms. Khan had been seeing Mr. Pancholi for a year, their relationship had hit a rough patch over the last month or so.
“No suicide note has been recovered from the spot…we will be questioning Suraj on the basis of the text messages and phone calls. Prima facie, it appears that she took her life owing to a strained relationship [with Suraj],” said Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil, speaking to reporters outside Sagar Sangeet, Ms. Khan’s residence
The police estimated her time of death between 10.53 p.m. and 11.22 p.m. The post-mortem examination was later carried out at the city’s J.J. Hospital
According to police sources, Ms. Khan’s mobile phone revealed the exchange of several calls and text messages between Mr. Pancholi and herself between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Monday night.
“Suraj and Jiah spoke over the telephone a number of times yesterday, with the last call being made at 10.53 p.m., which lasted for two minutes. Soon after, Jiah hanged herself. Suraj also sent her a bouquet which she did not accept,” said a police officer.
Later, Mr. Pancholi and his father underwent a three-and-a-half hour grilling by the police in connection with the case.
Ms. Khan’s mother told the police that her daughter had gone to Hyderabad on June 2 for an audition which apparently did not go well. The actor, she told the police, was advised to shed weight.