While her bank balance was hefty, TV actor Pratyusha Banerjee frequently borrowed small sums of money from her house help for buying medicines or to hire a cab. Renu Sinha, who worked for Pratyusha for three months and lived in the same house, said she had seen bruises suffered by the actor after fights with fiance Rahul Raj Singh.
Booked on abetment charges, Singh remains hospitalised and is in depression, according to his treating doctors. “I grew close to Pratyusha after her mother was packed away from Mumbai since Rahul did not like her presence in the house. Pratyusha’s mother had asked me to keep an eye on her daughter. She used to call me ‘didi,” said Sinha. “At odd hours in the night, I used to hear raised voices from the couple’s room. I wanted to rescue Pratyusha but didn’t know if it was right to interfere in a private matter between them. Whenever Rahul left home, I would coax Pratyusha into telling me everything. She spoke of Rahul accusing her of having an affair with her former boyfriend,” added Sinha.
The house help had suggested to Pratyusha on a number of occasions that she walk out of the relationship. “Pratyusha hailed from a middle-class family in Jamshedpur and she believed that her broken relationships would bring disrepute to her family. I would ask her to take control over her finances and ask Rahul to return her passbooks and debit card. But she said she couldn’t do it for some reason,” Sinha said.
Pratyusha used to cook and clean for Rahul as she was in love with him. “I was also a witness to the incident where Rahul’s ex-girlfriend stormed into the flat and hit the couple, raining choicest of abuses,” said Sinha. “Pratyusha gradually learnt of Rahul’s past including his previous marriage. She was terrorised by Rahul. He wouldn’t let her do things she loved, like eating out and watching movies. He kept postponing plans to tie the knot with her,” said Sinha. The househelp also raised a doubt over someone as petite as Pratyusha being able to reach the ceiling fan to tie a noose when there was no stool in the house.