When television actors received messages enquiring about Pratyusha Banerjee’s rumoured demise on April 1, most of them thought or hoped, that it was an April Fool’s prank — albeit in poor taste. Except that it wasn’t. As the day progressed, more details of the incident surfaced and by late in the evening, Pratyusha Bannerjee or “Balika Vadhu” as she was known to her fans was declared dead at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Hospital. The industry since, has been trying to come to terms with the blow.
While some are surprised, saying she was a strong girl who never would’ve taken such a drastic step, there are others who were privy to her tumultuous personal affairs. A close friend of the actress from the industry said on the condition of anonymity that her rocky relationship with Rahul Raj Singh was a major cause of stress in her life.
Narrating the sequence of events, the friend said, “Pratyusha was very upset ever since Rahul broke up with her —apparently for another television actress. She was just not able to accept the fact that Rahul had moved on and left her for another woman. Her last whatsapp status ‘Mar kar bhi tujhe nahi chodna’ too explained her fragile state of mind. On April 1st, the couple had met at a mall close to Pratyusha’s house and had an ugly spat over there. Pratyusha kept asking him ‘Why did you cheat on me?’ This escalated the fight and led to Rahul slapping her a couple of times. The two then went separate ways. When Rahul (also her live-in partner) went to check on her around 4 pm, he found her hanging from the ceiling fan. With the neighbours’ help he rushed her to the hospital and left from there after informing her parents about her death.”
What added to the stress was the mounting debt, informs the friend. “The couple was in debt running over a crore. They weren’t able to repay the loan, adding further stress to the relationship.”
With many fingers pointing at boyfriend Rahul Raj, Pratyusha’s Balika Vadhu co-star, Vikrant Massey, is urging people to hold their comments until more details come to light. He said, “It is very fashionable to put the boyfriend in the dock, blame him for her death just because it was the case previously with other actresses. But nobody knows the truth. I agree Pratyusha’s boyfriend’s conduct is not above suspicion. But I still maintain that we don’t know the truth. So please don't put him on a trial yet.”