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Bollywood actor held in custody over girlfriend's suicide

Bollywood actors Asin, Aamir Khan and Jiah Khan (L-R) pose at a party for their movie Ghajini in Mumbai December 30, 2008. REUTERS/Manav Man
Bollywood actors Asin, Aamir Khan and Jiah Khan (L-R) pose at a party for their movie Ghajini in Mumbai December 30, 2008. REUTERS/Manav Man

By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood actor Suraj Pancholi who was arrested after the suicide of his actress girlfriend Jiah Khan will spend at least another week in jail after a Mumbai court on Friday adjourned his bail hearing until June 21.

Pancholi, 22, the son of Bollywood acting couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, was arrested on June 10 and is being questioned by police over any possible role in Khan's suicide.

His arrest came after Khan's mother, the 1980s actress Rabia Khan, went public with a six-page letter apparently written by the 25-year-old actress before she hanged herself on June 3. Her last phone call was to Pancholi.

In the letter widely published in the Indian media, the 25-year-old actress speaks of being physically and emotionally abused and of having an abortion against her will although she did not mention any names.

Pancholi's lawyer Zamir Khan told Reuters by telephone that the actor's bail hearing had been adjourned to June 21 and until that time Pancholi would have to remain in custody.

Police have yet to file any charges against Pancholi who was reported to have been in a relationship with Khan for a year.

Suicide is a crime in India and abetting suicide is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Khan, whose real name was Nafisa Khan, was found hanged in her room in a Mumbai apartment last week.

The U.S.-born actress made her Bollywood debut in 2007 with Ram Gopal Varma's 'Nishabd' which received mixed reviews and went on to play supporting roles in the psychological thriller 'Ghajini' in 2008 and the comedy 'Housefull' in 2010.

However Khan had not appeared in a movie since 2010 and filmmaker Varma said in a tweet after her death that the actress had been depressed about her stalled Bollywood career.

(Editing by Tony Tharakan and Belinda Goldsmith)

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