In Brief

Jiah Khan suicide: police grill boyfriend over abuse claims

Suraj Pancholi taken into custody after six-page letter talks of 'torture' and 'forced abortion'

MUMBAI police are set to question Suraj Pancholi, the boyfriend of the Indian actress found hanged in her apartment last week, amid allegations that he abetted her suicide.

According to The Times of India, police have taken Pancholi into custody (above) and have the right to hold him for two days while they examine his laptop and a number of letters sent to him by his girlfriend, Jiah Khan.

They also have Jiah's six-page suicide note in which the 25-year-old accused her boyfriend of seeing other women, abusing her physically, and forcing her to have an abortion. Jiah does not name Suraj but her mother, Rabiya, insists the letter refers to him.

Extracts from the letter have appeared in the Indian media and police have confirmed that it is genuine. "I wished you had loved me like I loved you," she wrote. "I had dreamt of our future together. You returned my love with cheating and lies. It didn't matter how many gifts I gave you or how beautiful I looked for you ... I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply."

She also wrote that her boyfriend "tortured me every day".

Rabiya Khan has told police that while her daughter and Suraj lived with their respective families part of the time, they spent weekends together and he had promised to marry her.

The time they spent together could have a bearing on what happens next. "The law says that in such cases, the domestic violence act is applicable," an unnamed police officer told The Times of London. "We are examining the details of their relationship."

Jiah and Suraj are both from Bollywood acting families. Jiah's mother was known as Rabia Amin in the 1980s, who had small parts opposite Raj Babbar in Dulha Bikta Hai and with Anil Kapoor in Meri Jung. Suraj is the son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.

Legal experts have told the Times that securing a conviction against Pancholi for abetting Jiah's suicide could be difficult. It would require evidence that, not only did his actions contribute to her death, but that he had helped her to plan and carry it out.

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