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City activists differ on police's role in SriDevi's demise


Press Trust of India Mumbai
Even as Bollywood diva Sridevi was cremated today, activists based here were divided over whether her death should be probed by the Mumbai police despite the Dubai police closing the case.

Sridevi passed away on Saturday night at a hotel room in Dubai where she, along with the entire Kapoor clan and a host of Bollywood celebrities, had gone for the wedding of nephew Mohit Marwah.

Dubai Public Prosecutor's Office yesterday put an end to speculation about the cause of her death, saying she accidentally drowned in the bathtub following loss of consciousness, and that the "case was now closed".

However, some activists here feel that there should be further probe to find out the circumstances in which the stunning actress died.

On the other hand, some other activists are of the view that there is no scope for any further investigation after the probe by Dubai police.

The legal head of the NGO "Jai Ho Foundation" advocate Adil Khatri has sent an email to Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatrey Padsalgikar requesting a thorough investigation under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

"Why should one believe everything what the Dubai police is telling? In the interest of justice, to put this entire speculation to rest, Mumbai police must exhaustively investigate the entire mysterious death of our beloved Indian actor Sridevi. Mumbai Police has the power to launch an extra terrestrial investigation," he wrote.

"The circumstances of accidental death are unclear and it has witnessed several turning points. Internationally, in the past, there have been inquiries in death of famous personalities like Michael Jackson, Princess Diana etc. This case also deserves a fair probe," Khatri added.

Talking to PTI, he claimed that the Police Commissioner has forwarded his request to Joint CP (Law and Order), "which means that the Commissioner has given attention to my request."

However, the Police Commissioner did not respond to a message seeking his comment on the demand for probe.

Social activist and lawyer S Balakrishnan has made a similar demand in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"Even though the death took place in Dubai, nothing prevents the Mumbai police from suo motuconducting parallel investigation since Sridevi was domiciled in the city and was a celebrity with a huge following," he said.

"Initial reports emerging from Dubai said categorically that she had died of a massive cardiac arrest. And now it is stated that she died of accidental drowning. This is absurd because no forensic doctor will state the cause as accidental drowning and therefore, it is the job of the Mumbai police to find out if it was an accident or murder," he added.

"I have sent an email to the chief minister, underlining how her death has left so many questions," he said.

On the other hand, noted lawyer and human rights activist Abha Singh felt that there was no case worth investigating.

"It is natural and accidental death with no foul play suggested," she said.

She said some people were equating Sridevi's death case with that of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, but the two cases were different.

The actress did not die within seven years of marriage, unlike Sunanda, Singh pointed out.

"Additionally, the Dubai police has gone by the law and therefore, I do not find any substance why Mumbai police should still conduct investigation," she added.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Feb 28 2018 | 7:15 PM IST

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