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Manhunt for the man Nafisa loved

By Marcellus D'Souza, IANS

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A manhunt is on for Gautam Khanduja, the man Nafisa Joseph "was madly in love with", even as an autopsy revealed that the former Miss India had sustained injuries two days before she committed suicide.

Khanduja, who was Joseph's fiancÚ, is to be questioned by police to probe whether an altercation between the two led the model-turned VJ to hang herself at her Versova home Thursday evening.

An automobile spare parts exporter who was already married, Khanduja lives in Pali Hill in suburban Bandra and was to marry Joseph, 26, in August. But he is said to be missing.

Police said they had "launched a manhunt for Khanduja".

Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitabh Gupta told IANS: "We want
to interrogate Khanduja to find out if it was an altercation with him that led Nafisa to kill herself".

"So far, he has not called us. We too have not got in touch with him yet but will be doing so shortly."

Although Mumbai Police have ruled out foul play, they want to know from Khanduja what happened a few days or even hours before Joseph's suicide.

Gupta said: "Nafisa's mother Usha Joseph told us there were quarrels between her daughter and Gautam."

"Since Gautam had promised to marry Nafisa, she was demanding that he
divorce his first wife," Gupta added.

Gupta said: "We believe, in a fit of anger, Gautam asked Nafisa why she had even planned the marriage with him when she did not believe him".

"We want to know from Usha Joseph what transpired between Nafisa, Gautam and herself when they met on Wednesday evening".

An autopsy has said Nafisa Joseph inflicted injuries on herself two days before the suicide.

Gupta said, "Abrasions on Nafisa's forearms are believed to have been caused either by a blade or fingernails. Bruises were also found around her neck and left eye."

Gupta said, "The autopsy report gave the cause of death as asphyxia due to hanging. The viscera has been preserved for chemical analysis."

The autopsy was conducted by B.M. Shinde and Shivraj Kachre of Cooper Hospital, Vile Parle, in suburban Mumbai.

According to her family, "Nafisa met Gautam a year ago at a pub and was keen on settling down with him."

Residents of Raj Kamal Apartments where Joseph lived say "she was madly in love with Gautam".

She was rushed to Nanavati Hospital minutes after she was found hanging in her home, but was declared dead before admission.

A Christian by faith, she was cremated at the electric crematorium in Oshiwara late Friday evening.


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