BBC has released the first episode of a three-part investigative series on actor Jiah Khan’s death titled Death in Bollywood. The series is only available for viewing in the UK currently. The first episode is 58-minutes-long and was released online in the UK on 11 January. Jiah Khan, who made her debut in Ram Gopal Varma’s Nishabd in 2007 and co-starred with Aamir Khan in Ghajini (2008) was found dead at her residence in Mumbai’s Juhu suburb in 2013. Investigations by the Mumbai Police and later the CBI declared it death by suicide. However, Jiah Khan’s mother commissioned a legal case review from a British law firm which concluded that there were faults in the investigations.
The documentary by BBC is being released online over three days from 11 to 13 January. While reviewing the first episode of the series, TheTelegraph (UK) writes, “The first episode of Death in Bollywood (BBC Two), a three-part investigation, presented the family’s case. It wasn’t clear if the remaining episodes will present alternative views. The Khans made compelling interviewees: Jiah’s mother and her sisters spoke eloquently about the pain of losing her.”
The piece also adds that Jiah’s family believe that she would not have taken her own life, also on the night of her death, Jiah was supposed to pick up one of her sisters from the airport and she had spoken to her mother over the phone. There was no impression that anything was out of place.
While stating that none of this is proof that Jiah did not die by suicide, the review also points out that the director of Death in Bollywood brings up other bits of evidence, such as Jiah’s tracksuit, which she was wearing just hours before her death, that was never found. The bruises and ligature marks on her body and neck that raise suspicions, besides the letter in which she wrote about her troubled relationship with Sooraj Pancholi.
The Telegraph’s review points out that, “...seeing photographs of Jiah’s dead body felt voyeuristic. All the ingredients of a celebrity true-crime story were here, and viewing the show in those terms left me uneasy.”
Jiah Khan had acted in three Hindi films - Nishabd, Housefull and Ghajini before her untimely death.
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