Mumbai, July 10: "I killed Saleena after a fight over her relationships with other men. Saleena used to humiliate me by ordering me around to do odd jobs like cooking, driving and washing clothes. While I tolerated the humiliation, I could not stand her relationships with men and, therefore, in the fit of rage, I killed her," Parvez Tak, prime accused in starlet Laila Khan and her family's alleged kidnap and murder, told Mumbai police on Monday.
The arrested Kashmiri forest contractor's startling statement overturns the police's suspicion that the Khan family was killed over their properties. The family owns two flats in the city, one shop in Oshiwara and a bungalow at Igatpuri in Nashik.
A police officer, though, told TOI, "We are taking Tak's statement with a pinch of salt as he is a cheat who has dodged the police for a while. He had initially confessed to killing the Khan family before the J&K police but later retracted it."
Tak told interrogators that he, along with his associates, including one Kashmiri watchman Shakir Hussain, killed Laila and her five family members and buried their bodies behind Laila's Igatpuri bungalow. He allegedly killed all of them as Laila had witnessed her mother's murder.
Following this development, the crime branch has fanned out two teams to Igatpuri. The teams are working with Igatpuri police and have taken along sniffer dogs to trace the bodies. Sources said if the police are unable to find them, Tak will be taken to Igatpuri.
In another development, the crime branch has picked up three drivers from Goti village in Nashik who are believed to have been hired by Tak to ferry Saleena's Scorpio and Mitubishi Outlander to J&K. Of the three, two have been identified as Mehboob Shaikh and Johny Girdar. The three have also been brought to Mumbai and were interrogated at the police headquarters.
Tak, who was arrested by the J&K police last month, was brought to the city by Mumbai crime branch on Sunday night. He was produced before the 37th Esplanade Court, which remanded him to police custody till July 19.
Last year, Laila and five of her family members, went missing from her Oshiwara home. The Mitsubishi Outlander, registered in the name of Laila's mother, was found by J&K police in Kishtwar. It was used for ferrying explosives used in Delhi high court blasts of September 2011. The last person to have used the vehicle was Tak, who reportedly has links with LeT militants.
Sources said crime branch officials are also questioning Saleena's second husband, Asif Shaikh, who has told the police that he had divorced Laila's mother five years ago and was unaware of the family's whereabouts.
It was Saleena's first husband, Nadir Patel, who filed a missing persons complaint with the Oshiwara police saying his daughter, along with her siblings, mother Saleena Patel and stepfather Asif Sheikh, had gone missing after leaving for Kashmir to attend a wedding in February 2011.