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Reel Actress Real Story

Updated: July 28, 2012 3:02 pm

This is a story of love, money and murder. She was last seen in a Bollywood flick as the promiscuous wife of an ageing man played by Rajesh Khanna in the movie, Wafaa, directed by brother of Rakhi Sawant, Rakesh Sawant. And much before young and ambitious Laila Khan would get offers from Bhojpuri and south Indian film-makers, her skeleton along with five other family members has been dug out from her holiday home in Igatpuri near Nashik. The whole family was wiped out by one Pervez Tak, resident of Kishtwar town in Jammu and Kashmir along with his associates. It is believed that on January 30, 2011, Laila Khan, accompanied by her mother Shelina, older sister Hazmina, twin siblings Imran and Zara and cousin Reshma from her ground floor flat in Sunshine Apartments in Mumbai’s north-western suburb of Oshiwara drove in a white Scorpio and a black Mitsubishi Outlander towards their holiday home, a bungalow perched on a hilltop in Igatpuri, 126 km north of Mumbai. And that was the last, they were ever seen.

The skeletons of Bollywood starlet Laila Khan and her five family members from their Igatpuri Farm House in Nashik district of Maharashtra were recovered on the disclosures and identification of site by Parvez Ahmad Tak, who had turned out to be prime accused in the killings along with an absconding youth Shakir Hussain from Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Tak was flown to Mumbai from Kishtwar and taken on remand till July 19 from a local court. Though the DNA tests of the bodies would confirm the identity of the bodies, Parvez Tak had already admitted during sustained questioning by Kishtwar Police that he had killed all six and buried their bodies at Igatpuri Farm House after Laila’s mother, Shelina Begum Patel, whom he had married, was writing will against his wishes in favour of her former husband Asif Shaikh before flying to Dubai along with entire family.

This is a real life story of a reel actor. Laila was born as Reshma Patel to father Nadir Patel and mother Shelina Patel. Laila’s father, a prominent businessman, exports garments to the Indian diaspora in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Laila, the elder sister Hazmina and the twins are from his first marriage to Shelina in 1979. With a secure and happy childhood, the girls, Hazmina, the eldest, chose to become a model and Laila took to acting. Hazmina too later ventured into movies with the screen name Afreen Khan. She made her debut in a Rakesh Sawant movie named Hello? Kaun Hai! While Shelina owns two flats, one each in Mira Road and Oshiwara, Laila owns a farmhouse at Igatpuri and Hazmina owns a shop at Lokhandwala. The police are not convinced that all the assets were raised with money earned from modelling and movies as Hazmina’s career was on a downslide and Laila hadn’t made a mark in Bollywood.

With her career in films flagging, Laila started spending time in the company of a mysterious businessman called Afghan Khan, who she had met in 2007. Afghan Khan was allegedly in constant touch with Laila and police say they found an SMS from him on her phone, urging her not to leave Mumbai. Rakesh Sawant who signed Laila for her second movie has reportedly told police that in December 2009, Laila had invited Sawant to her bungalow at Igatpuri and introduced him to two Arab investors who wanted to invest Rs 15-20 crore in making a film. “They wanted to show the money as mine. I refused as I did not want income tax queries,” Sawant has told police. Sawant also registered a police complaint about missing Laila since, he has already shot the first schedule of film Jinnatt with Laila.

How did Pervez Tak, a school dropout from Kishtwar land in Mumbai with Laila’s family? The answer lies in story of Laila’s mother Shelina, who after her decade-old marriage with first husband Nadir Shah Patel, with whom she had eloped to get married got divorced and had been with her second husband Asif Ahmed, 50, for 20 years. Relatives say that she was smitten by Tak’s Kashmiri good looks and often compared him to a young Shashi Kapoor. Tak was looking for a place to stay and a platform for his ambitions. In December 2010, he married Shelina, 15 years his senior. Pervez worked as a carpenter till 2006, when he suddenly disappeared, only to reappear, wearing a suit, tie and sunglasses contesting the 2008 assembly elections on NCP ticket from Inderwal constituency only to get a little over 400 votes after spending lakhs. After losing the election, Pervez disappeared again.

He appeared early this year with two cars owned by Laila, a Scorpio, abandoned in Jammu last year and a Mitsubishi Outlander registered in Shelina’s name, hidden inside a shop in Kishtwar, seized by the police last month. Changing his statements thrice, Tak told his interrogating police officer, DIG Doda, Ramban Range, Garib Das in Kishtwar last month that Laila Khan along with her family members had been killed in his presence by four other persons including Mumbai’s financier Asif Shaikh, Afghan Khan, a real estate developer and two sharp-shooters in February second week.

“All five were taken to an isolated area of Mumbai (the name of which was also not known to Tak but he has admitted that he could still identify the spot) on February 9, 2011, on the pretext that they had to fly to Dubai as they faced threat to their lives from underworld in view of large property in their possession,” the J&K Police said, adding that two shooters had already been hired. The sharp-shooters, as per the pre-planned strategy, gunned down Laila Khan and her all four family members after they deboarded the vehicles and buried their bodies. All of them later escaped from the spot and reached Jammu in two vehicles—Mitsubishi Outlander and Scorpio. They had stayed at Jammu Hotel Asia for three days after which Tak left for Kishtwar in Outlander while the others abandoned Scorpio in Jammu City and landed in Mumbai.

In second statement, he claimed that Laila and her sister were alive and finally, he revealed the real story of five gruesome murders for money and property. Tak has said that he intended to kill Laila’s mother Shelina for continuously humiliating him, and for having relationship with other men. He admitted that when Shelina told him that she was planning to make builder Asif Sheikh the caretaker of her property, he allegedly lost his temper and bludgeoned her with an iron rod. He killed Laila and others because they were witnesses to the crime. He and his accomplice then buried the bodies and burned down the Igatpuri farmhouse where the murder occurred. The entire drama had taken place in second week of February last year. Laila and her family were declared missing on February 11, 2011 on the basis of a complaint lodged by Nadir Shah Patel.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have said that the crime would have remained a mystery as Mumbai Police were also unable to work out missing case of the starlet and her family members but for the recovery of Tak’s Outlander from Kishtwar few days back, which had been registered in the name of Laila Khan. After the recovery of Outlander, Tak had gone underground but was arrested by Kishtwar Police and subjected to sustained questioning. Initially, he had claimed that Laila Khan had escaped to Dubai along with her other family members. However, it was after his sustained interrogation he spilled the beans and narrated the entire story from his entry into the house of Laila Khan to his marriage with Shelina Begum Patel followed by the killing of all five family members.

Sources in Jammu and Kashmir Police revealed that Mumbai Police have also recovered a large bag containing women clothes and two mobile phones from the farmhouse, which had been set ablaze by Parvez Tak and Shakir Hussaisn of Doda, who was working as a cook in Laila’s house, after the killings and burial of the bodies to finish evidence. After setting Laila’s farmhouse on fire, Tak and Shakir both had taken Laila’s two vehicles including the Outlander and Scorpio and reached Jammu. A former cook of Laila had given a report of the fire in the farmhouse to Asif Shaikh. Shaikh had formally lodged the report with police. Shaikh, a Bollywood movies financier, was arrested on revelation of Parvez Tak from Bengaluru.

Sources said the Mumbai Crime Branch was also re-constructing the scene of crime with the help of Tak. Meanwhile, Kishtwar Police have intensified the search for Shakir Hussain son of Mohammad Sharief, a resident of village Dodwar in Gandoh area of Doda district, who was prime accused in the killings of Laila and her family members along with Tak.

 By Prakriiti Gupta from Jammu

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