Gopal Goyal Kanda, the Haryana minister who resigned after a young woman named him in her suicide note, was a no-show for his scheduled interrogation by the Delhi Police today. Six police search teams hunted him for this evening- one even visited his farm house in Faridabad, near Delhi.
In the morning, Mr Kanda's lawyers asked for the interrogation to be postponed by three days - they said he wanted to review important documents that could be relevant to the case. The police rejected that request.
Geetika Sharma, an air hostess who worked first for Mr Kanda's airline and then with another of his companies, killed herself on the weekend. A detailed letter in her home accused Mr Kanda and one of his senior executives, Aruna Chadha, of harassment. The politician has been charged with abetment of suicide and criminal intimidation. Ms Chadha was arrested today.
Another employee, whose first name Mandeep was disclosed by the police, has also been detained. He allegedly bought SIM cards in his name, and then passed them onto Mr Kanda, allowing the politician to reportedly call Ms Sharma without his name appearing on her cellphone records.
Mr Kanda told NDTV on Tuesday that he had not spoken to Ms Sharma in two months. Her family, however, says that he phoned her two days before she died. Then, on Saturday night, her mother says Mr Kanda phoned her directly, and she informed Ms Sharma about their conversation. She says this left the former air hostess agitated. A few hours later, she was found dead.
From 2006 to 2009, Ms Sharma flew with MDLR, an airline owned by the politician. When the company went under, she moved to the UAE to fly with Emirates. She returned to India in 2011 and joined another company owned by Mr Kanda, Super Sonic, which deals with cables. He also told NDTV that if he had been harassing the air hostess, her parents would not have allowed her to work for him a second time.
Ms Sharma's family alleges that when she was in the UAE, she was harassed and blackmailed by Mr Kanda and Aruna Chaddha, one of his senior executives, to return to Delhi and work for him.
She quit her job at his company in May because she wanted to study for an MBA. Mr Kanda says his firm loaned her several lakhs for her course.