MHA recommends CBI probe into Sonali Phogat’s death

The Union home ministry on Monday recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat, officials said.

The home ministry asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to get the case probed by the CBI, an official privy to the development said. The CBI functions under the administrative control of the DoPT.

The MHA’s move came after Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant wrote to Union home minister Amit Shah requesting a CBI probe into the case.

Speaking to reporters in Goa, Sawant said that he was confident of the probe done by the Goa police in the case, but due to the “continuous demand” from Phogat’s family and the wider community in Haryana, the case was being handed over to the CBI.

“There has been a continuous demand from her family including from her daughter to hand over the case to the CBI. The Goa police have done a good job in tracking the case so far. But since they have been demanding, we have decided to hand over the case to the CBI,” Sawant said.

The development comes a day after a khap mahapanchayat in Hisar demanded a CBI probe into Sonali Phogat’s death.

A 15-member committee, including five members of Phogat’s family, was also formed to decide the further course of action if the Goa government failed to order a CBI probe into the case by September 23.

Phogat, the BJP leader from Hisar in Haryana, died in Goa on the intervening night of August 22-23. The Goa police have arrested five people, including two of her aides, in connection with the case.

Sonali Phogat’s family welcomes CBI probe

Sonali Phogat’s family in Hisar on Monday welcomed the Centre’s decision to recommend a CBI probe into her death.

Rinku Dhaka, Phogat’s brother, said that their family has been demanding a CBI probe in this matter right from the start but the Goa police has wasted the last 20 days in the name of investigation.

“Despite taking the accused on remand for 14 days, the Goa police’s investigation revolved around drugs and property, which was not true. The police has failed to interrogate and find out the role of co-accused Sukhwinder, why he went to Goa and why he was involved in her death,” Dhaka said.

“The Goa police have sealed my sister’s rented flat at Gurugram but it failed to collect the evidence from Goa hotel, where she stayed. We hope that the CBI will probe deeply into the matter,” he added.

Dhaka Khap’s Haryana president Dinesh Dhaka thanked Haryana’s khaps for supporting Phogat’s family.