Goa Police has made the fifth arrest in connection with the alleged murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and social media star Sonali Phogat. GoaPolice has arrested another drug smuggler in connection with the alleged murder of Sonali Phogat. With this, the number of people who have been arrested so far in the case has gone up to five, an official said.
43-year-old Phogat, a former TikTok celebrity who rose to popularity after appearing on the reality TV show Bigg Boss 14, died under suspicious circumstances on August 23. She had reached Goa a day before this.
On Saturday night, Anjuna police in North Goa district arrested drug smuggler Rama alias Ramdas Mandrekar for allegedly supplying drugs to anothersmuggler Dattaprasad Gaonkar, the official said.
Gaonkar is already in custody in this case. Police had earlier said that Gaonkar had allegedly supplied drugs to two other accused, Sudhir Sagwan and Sukhwinder Singh, who had accompanied Phogat on a Goa visit. Another person arrested on Saturday is Edwin Nunes, owner of Curlies restaurant located in North Goa district, the official said. He was taken into custody from Anjuna on Saturday morning. Phogat was seen hours before her death in the same restaurant where she was given drugs.
He said that Phogat’s aides Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, who were arrested earlier, allegedly told the police that they had bought drugs from Gaonkar. The police officer said Gaonkar had sold drugs to Sangwan and Singh, who had given Phogat drugs at the Curlies restaurant on the intervening night of August 22 and 23.
He said Nunes was arrested because the incident happened at his restaurant. Police had said on Friday that Sangwan and Singh had allegedly mixed some intoxicant in the water and forced Phogat to drink it.
Phogat was brought dead on the morning of August 23 from his hotel at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Anjuna in North Goa district. A local court on Saturday sent Sangwan and Singh to police custody for 10 days. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged murder.