Veteran actor Sridevi left for heavenly abode on February 24 after she died of accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub. The actress was found dead in a bathtub by her husband Boney Kapoor in their room at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. Her mortal remains were laid to rest on February 28 in Mumbai. The actress’ ashes were immersed in Rameswaram and Haridwar as the nation tries to come to the grip of their beloved star’s passing away. Sridevi’s tragic death gave rise to quite many speculations and even invited a plea by Sunil Singh, a filmmaker.
Filmmaker Sunil Singh moves to Delhi, High Court
The Uttar Pradesh native, Sunil Singh, moved a petition in which he has said that he was in Dubai on a family vacation from February 20 to February 26 when he came to know of Sridevi’s death. The petition that claimed that the actor’s death was a matter of national interest was however, refused by the Delhi High Court to be entertained for a probe into her recent death, saying the authorities in India and Dubai have already looked into the incident. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar dismissed the petition.
The petitioner has alleged that on enquiries made by him from the hotel staff, officials of the hospital where the 54-year-old actor was taken and others associated with the matter, he had received information which was contrary to what was reported in the media. Due to this, he had filed the petition for a probe into her death, it said.
After postmortem, the reason for her death was cited to be “accidental drowning”. During that time there were several tongues that were wagging calling out a foul play in her death but post the official declaration, the voices died down.
Plea dismissed by Supreme Court
Sunil Singh further moved to the Apex Court which accepted his plea only to reject it later.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud rejected the plea even as senior counsel Vikas Singh raised questions on how could a 5.7 foot tall person drown in a 5.1 foot bathtub.
Contentions put forth by Singh
Singh sought that all documents related to the 54-year-old actress’ death – medical and investigation – carried out by the Dubai Police be brought to India. He requested that the matter be investigated by an independent agency.
Vikas Singh told the court that the late actress had passed away on February 24 under suspicious circumstances.
Argument made regarding Insurance policy
He also argued before the court that an insurance policy worth Rs 240 crore was brought in Sridevi’s name in Oman and could be encashed only if the actor died in Dubai.
Private Investigator alleges the demise to be a Murder
Now, after three months, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ved Bhushan, who runs a private investigation agency (PI) in Delhi has claimed that Sridevi’s death looks more like a planned murder than an accident.
“It’s very easy to put someone in bathtub forcefully until victims breathing stops without leaving evidence of the crime, and then label it as an accidental death. This looks like a planned murder,” the former cop said.
Two days after her death and after conducting an autopsy, the Dubai Police had released a forensic report which claimed that traces of alcohol was found in Sridevi’s body and determined that her death was undoubtedly an accident. But Bhushan disagreed with their conclusion and emphasised that their report was not conclusive as many queries still remained unanswered.
Bhushan also visited the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, where Sridevi died, to investigate the death but wasn’t allowed to enter the Hotel room where she was staying.
However, he managed to stay in the room next to hers and recreated the entire scene and circumstances which led to her death. However, the PI claimed that none of it made sense logically and there are mysterious powers at play. “Sridevi died mysteriously and questions need to be answered, some questions posed after her death were relevant and logical. We felt something was hidden.”
Bhushan is still investigating the case and aspires to get to the bottom of the matter.
Questions surrounding the death of Sridevi have given rise to speculations and doubts among people. They are now asking whether this was a case of accidental drowning at all, or if the actress was murdered. The two petitions separately filed by individuals Sunil Singh and Bhushan contest that the demise was rather a murder.
Some of the questions that people are asking on social media are:
- Was there any head or bodily injury if she had lost balance and fallen?
- Was the bathroom door already open?
- If not, who opened the bathroom door after Sridevi collapsed, and how?
- Did water splash out of the bathtub when she fell into it?
There is now a series of tweets from people who suspect Sridevi was murdered. Some even compared this death with that of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a hotel room under mysterious circumstances.
Even Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy seemed to buy into the foul play theory.
“Let’s wait for the prosecution to pronounce it. Facts in media do not appear to be consistent. She never drank hard liquor, how did it enter her system? What happened to CCTV? Doctors suddenly appeared before the media and said she died of heart failure,” he told ANI.
“It is very difficult to die and drown in a bathtub unless somebody pushed you or prevent you from breathing,” Swamy told Times Now.
A sense of mystery now surrounds the matter where it can be concluded that in order to find the truth, the burden lies on judiciary.