10:02 AM IST - Monday July 28, 2014

‘Wafaa’ actress killed with family, says stepfather

Jammu, July 5 Bollywood fringe actress Laila Khan, who has been missing since February 2011, has been killed along with four members of her family including her mother, her stepfather Pervez Iqbal Tak has told police.

Giving vital leads in a case that has long confounded investigators, Tak told investigators that five to six people were involved in the killings of Laila, mother Saleem Begum Patel, siblings Zara Patel and Imran Patel, and cousin Reshma Patel in Mumbai, police officials said.

He said the five were shot dead and buried in an isolated place in Mumbai.

The mystery was still unravelling with no physical evidence to corroborate what Tak had said, investigators said.

“Initially after his arrest, Parvez Iqbal Tak was trying to mislead the police. But later, when Mumbai Police too joined the investigations, Tak told us that five to six characters were involved in wiping out Laila Khan and four members of her family,” Deputy Inspector General of Doda Gareeb Das told IANS.

Tak, who married Saleem Begum after she divorced her earlier husband, was arrested last month in Kishtwar, about 230 km from here.

“Mumbai Police would be reaching Kishtwar to take custody of Tak,” Das said.

Police in Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai, he added, were “constrained to believe Tak’s revelations”.

“We fear that all five of them are dead. But we are still hunting for physical evidence.”

He added that Tak, who said that sharpshooters had been hired to kill Laila and her family, had been cooperating with interrogators and gradually revealing information on the case.

Tak does not know the name of the place where the victims were taken but has said he can identify the spot.

The five, he said, were taken to the area on the pretext of flying to Dubai as they faced a threat to their lives due to the large property they owned.

The killers gunned them down and buried the bodies before escaping, Tak said.

According to Das, the crime would have remained a mystery had they not seized Laila’s Maharashtra registration number Outlander vehicle that Tak brought to Kishtwar.

It was found outside his rented shop in the town May 28.

Das said the story would unfold once the Maharashtra Police take Tak to Mumbai and the crime spot. “All would depend on whether police recover the bodies of the victims.”

Laila was seen in the film “Wafaa” in 2008.

ians

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