Murder-Suicide: Bollywood’s powerful impact plays out in New York City neighborhood

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Dineshwar Budhidat and Donne ‘Rehanna’ Dojoy getting married this July. Months later, he stabbed and left her dead in his apartment Nov. 8, 2019, and committed suicide shortly thereafter. (Photo Facebook)

A young Indian-American woman of Guyanese descent, living in Queens, New York, thousands of miles away from India’s tinsel town was the latest casualty in a bizarre murder-suicide apparently stemming from her adulation for a Bollywood screen idol.

News reports link 27 year old Donne Dojoy’s stabbing death Nov. 8, 2019, in her former Ozone Park residence, to her infatuation for Hrithik Roshan, the Bollywood heartthrob and superstar whose movies she devoured avidly much to her husband Dineshwar Budhidat’s  (also called Dinhwar in some news reports) dislike and mounting jealousy.

“On Friday, November 8, 2019 at 1926 hours police responded to a report of a person assaulted inside of 89-12 Albert Road, within the confines of the 106 Precinct,” said a statement released by Detective Sophia T. Mason of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner Public Information, a copy of which was sent to Desi Talk. “Upon arrival officers discovered a 27 year-old female with several stab wounds to her torso. EMS responded to the location and pronounced her deceased at the scene. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing,” Detective Mason’s statement went on to say. By next day, Nov. 9, Donne Dojoy’s identity was released by the police.

“The investigation remains ongoing,” the DCPI’s office told Desi Talk via email Nov. 12.

While the NYPD did not pronounce on the motive behind the killings, media reports speculated on the motive by talking to relatives and friends.

Bollywood megastar Hrithik Roshan performs in a New Delhi concert Feb. 23, 2001 (Photo REUTERS/ Kamal Kishore)

Budhidat’s mounting jealousy reportedly turned to heightened violence by a man known to police for assaulting his newly-wed wife in the past, actions for which he had a protection order issued against him.

According to the Daily News, the protection order against Budhidat was issued when he was arrested Aug. 21, for slapping and strangling Dojoy at their apartment.

The couple got married not so long ago in July this year. But Budhidat began displaying his violent side soon after. The couple began living separately just weeks before her murder, according to news reports, with Budhidat remaining in their Ozone Park apartment.

Why Dojoy went to her husband’s home that night is not clear, and relatives speculated that it may be because Budhidat could have convinced her that he was a changed man. It is sad that Dojoy, by all accounts, was a loving and generous person and agreed to meet Budhidat on his own turf that fateful night, despite the fact that just a few days before that, he had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was to be sentenced in January, the Daily News reported.

“Maybe she saw the best in him — “he promised her he’d change,” Donne Dojoy’s sister Fannita Barakat told New York Daily News. Barakat flew in from Texas to join other family members mourning the death of the vibrant young woman, a hard-working bartender at Gemini’s Ultra Lounge in Ozone Park, Queens.

Newsroom,gy and kaieteurnewsonline.com, both Guyanese news sites, reported Dojoy also called herself ‘Rehanna’.

“She told me when she was at home watching a movie or listening to a song (with Roshan in it) he would ask her to take it off because he would get so jealous,” Dojoy’s colleague Mala Ramdhani, a karaoke singer at Gemini, told New York Post. Ramdhani also said Dojoy’s favorite movie featuring Hrithik Roshan was Kaho na pyar hai, a 2000 blockbuster that launched the actor to stardom. “Any movie he acted in she wanted to see it,” Ramdhani added.

Donne Dojoy, 27, a bartender in Gemini Lounge, was found dead Nov. 8, 2019, evidently stabbed to death by her husband Dineshwar Budhidat.(Photo Facebook)

In fact, according to colleagues at Gemini, Dojoy told them she was going to meet her  estranged husband at the Ozone Park apartment to watch a movie and “chill” before her evening shift at the bar, the Post reported. It is not known if the couple was watching a movie or if the movie featured Hrithik when the horrific violence occurred.

At around 7:30, according to The Post quoting police sources, Budhidat texted his wife’s sister, telling her he had killed Dojoy and that her body was at his apartment and the keys to the door were under a flower pot. The Associated Press reported that the sister rushed to the Ozone Park home and found Dojoy dead.

His body was later found hanging from a tree in nearby Brooklyn Spring Creek Park, said police quoted in media reports. Her co-workers at the Gemini, told the Daily News Dojoy had complained of being physically assaulted by her husband.

A makeshift shrine was set up outside Gemini Lounge in honor of Dojoy. Her cousin, Anthony Dojoy, told the Daily News, “She’s full of positive vibes. She always had a loving, nurturing personality.”

Dojoy has six siblings according to news reports.

 

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