MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Suraj Pancholi used to subject actress Jiah Khan, who allegedly committed suicide here in 2013, to physical and verbal abuse, her mother told a special court here on Wednesday. Pancholi, who was in a relationship with the 25-year-old actress, has been booked for abetment of suicide in the case probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He is currently out on bail. On Wednesday, Jiah Khan’s mother Rabia Khan began recording her testimony in the case before special judge AS Sayyad.
Rabia Khan told the court about the actress’s entry into Bollywood, her career progression and relationship with Pancholi. Pancholi had approached Jiah Khan through a social media site and insisted on meeting her, she said. Jiah Khan was initially ‘apprehensive and reluctant’, but the duo met for the first time in September 2012, Rabia Khan said.
“At that time she sent some pictures. To me it looked like they clicked and had mutual interest. However, in September she (Jiah Khan) told me they were just friends,” she said.
Rabia Khan said her daughter’s daily routine was ‘taken over’ by Pancholi and by October 2012, the duo had started living at each other’s house. During her visit to their London home in November that year, the actress looked very happy, she said. Rabia Khan said Jiah Khan then returned to Mumbai for professional work and was supposed to come back to celebrate Christmas, but did not turn up.
On December 24, 2012, Rabia Khan said she received a message from Pancholi, saying he got angry with Jiah Khan after a fight with a friend and that she (the actress) should forgive him and give another chance. “At that time, I discovered that the duo had a violent fight,” she said.
Rabia Khan said Jiah Khan decided to give him a second chance and the duo went to Goa. However, in one of her phone calls Jiah Khan complained about being in a very strange place and not wanting to stay there, she said. In Goa, he used to put her down in front of other friends and flirt with other women in her presence, Rabia Khan said, citing her conversations with her daughter.
Rabia Khan said Jiah Khan suddenly turned up in London on February 14, 2013, and looked sad. According to Rabia Khan, Jiah Khan told her that Pancholi abused her verbally and physically, and also called her by “dirty names”.
Jiah Khan’s mother’s testimony will continue on Thursday. The actress, best known for her performance in Hindi film ‘Nishabd’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, was found hanging at her residence in Mumbai on June 3, 2013, by her mother.
Pancholi, the son of Bollywood couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, is currently out on bail in the case.
The CBI had alleged that a three-page note seized by the Mumbai Police, which first probed the case, on June 10, 2013, was written by Jiah Khan and it narrated her ordeal. The note narrated Jiah Khan’s “intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture” allegedly at the hands of Pancholi which led her to commit suicide, the central agency had said.