Indian actress Tunisha Sharma has reportedly died by suicide on the set of a TV show on Saturday after telling co-stars she was going to the bathroom and never returning.
Sharma, 20, had played the co-lead in Ali Baba: Dastaan-E-Kabul, a popular Sony SAB show alongside Sheezan Mohammed Khan, 28, who has since been arrested.
The actress’s colleagues had reportedly kicked down the door of the bathroom after she failed to return to set and found that she had taken her own life.
She was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save her.
Police arrested Khan following Sharma’s death, with reports claiming the pair had been dating until 15 days before she died.
Local reports, via CinemaBlend, claim the actress was reportedly “distraught” over the split, according to a complaint by her mother.
Khan was arrested for “abetment of suicide”, which can carry a fine, jail term of up to 10 years, or both under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
A Vasai Court ordered Khan to spend the next four days in police custody, per Indian Express, while his lawyer told media outlet AIN that the allegations were “baseless”, claiming police have Khan’s phone and haven’t found any evidence to support “abetment”, which is defined as including “instigating, engaging in a conspiracy or assisting in committing the offense”.
Little is known about Khan and Sharma’s relationship or the circumstances around their split, however local reports state that police have allegedly spoken to 14 people including some of their co-stars, who claimed the relationship was “known on set”.
Sharma had raised to fame as a child actress, first starring in the show Maharana Pratap, before later playing a younger version of Katrina Kaif – one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses – in multiple movies.
Her association with Kaif is said to have helped Sharma to land several subsequent big roles, including as co-lead in Ali Baba, which had run for 108 episodes before her death.
Just hours before her death, Sharma had posted a photo of herself reading a script on Instagram, telling her followers: “Those who are driven by their Passion Doesn’t stop.” (sic)
Her funeral is reportedly set to take place this week, with her cremation happening once family members have arrived from out of town.