Mumbai: In a dramatic twist to the already complicated murder case of starlet Laila Khan, main suspect Parvez Iqbal Tak has claimed that Laila and her family are still alive.
On Thursday, Tak had claimed that Laila, her mother Saleena Patel, sister Azimna Patel, siblings Zara ann Imran and a relative Reshma Khan were all shot dead and their bodies were buried little outside Mumbai.
Laila and her family went missing from their Oshiwara flat in February 2011.
"He has been constantly changing his statements to Jammu police, so we cannot rely on him. Until we interrogate him, it will be difficult to even assume the family has been killed," Himanshu Roy, JCP (crime), Mumbai Police told a daily.
Tak was arrested by J&K police on June 21 this year from Kishtwar and is currently in their custody. The Mumbai Crime Branch team would be seeking for Tak’s custody soon. "Jammu police are cooperating with us and on Saturday, we will be moving the local court seeking his custody," said Niket Kaushik, additional commissioner of police.
The Crime Branch has also detained Tak`s partner and Laila`s mother Saleena`s second husband Asif Shaik.
Tak, who is already facing two cases of cheating in J&K, had earlier confessed to police that Laila and her family were shot dead by hired killers.
Meanwhile, Laila`s biological father Nadir Patel had challenged the claim of her step-father Parvez Iqbal Tak that the actress, along with four of her family members, was killed near Mumbai in 2011.
Referring to a mysterious fire a few months ago which partly damaged their bungalow in Igatpuri, a hill-station in Maharashtra`s Nashik district, around 130 km from Mumbai, Patel contended that there could be a link between Laila and her family`s disappearance and the fire, but declined to elaborate. In fact, Patel was the one to file a missing person’s complaint with the Oshiwara police initially.
"Six months ago, I heard a car registered in Saleena`s name was found parked in Jammu. I tried searching for Saleena and my daughters but in vain. So, I approached the police and lodged a complaint. I came to know that Saleena and my daughters were last seen with Tak on February 8, 2011. I suspect that Tak had abducted my daughters for property," he told the Crime Branch.
Mobile phone records of Laila, whose original name is Reshma Patel, showed her last location as Nashik.
Mumbai police have also discovered over 1000 photographs of the starlet with influential politicians and industrialists at Khan’s residence. The police are now also suspecting Laila’s role in the Hawala case.