It must be flattering for our superstars when their on-screen antics inspire the real-life actions of their admirers. But here’s an instance that could make any celebrity cringe. Inspired by a one-liner from his screen idol’s hit film Wanted, a devoted fan of Salman Khan killed and robbed a courier firm employee to honour his promise of repaying a loan.
When asked by cops why he resorted to murder, he quoted the line from Khan’s blockbuster Wanted: ‘Maine jo ek baar commitment kar dee toh phir main apne aap ki bhi nahin sunta’.
Talha Mohammed Munaf Ansari (29), a resident of Madanpura, Nagpada, was arrested by Unit II of Crime Branch on June 20, for the murder of Jeetu Sadarangani alias Govind (22), an employee of Mamaji Courier Cargo. The ardent admirer of Khan had even met the object of his worship on the sets of Dabangg, where he wangled a photograph with the screen idol.
After killing the victim, Ansari grabbed over Rs 9.5 lakh in cash from him. According to police sources, the accused had amassed a huge debt, which he had promised to pay back. Motivated by the famous dialogue delivered by Khan, Ansari decided to do his screen idol’s bidding, by hook or by crook.
On June 20 around 9 am, a police team comprising Nishikant Patil, Prashant Raje, Avinash Kavthekar, Subhash Mali, HN Mishra and Pramod Shirke arrested Talha from Nagpada. The police also recovered Rs 5, 48,000 in cash from him. During investigations, Talha admitted to being inspired to commit his crime by the dialogue.
“He is a huge fan of Salman Khan. We recovered a photograph from him in which he is posing with Khan. Even when our team asked him why he killed and robbed Sadarangani, he told them ‘maine jo ek bar commitment kar di toh phir main apne aap ki bhi nahin sunta’,” said an officer.
Anxious after being given an ultimatum to repay his loan, Ansari planned the robbery. On June 11 at 9.30 pm, he entered the office of Mamaji Courier Cargo at Dwaraka Bhavan, Bhuleshwar, killed Sadarangani and robbed him.
According to the police, Sadarangani, a distant relative of his employer Harish Chandani, had been working at the firm for the last seven months. He was a native of Nagpur and had been residing in Govandi.
Ansari had even damaged the telephone box. Police noticed him while scrutinising CCTV footage. Another employee of the firm has been absconding since the day of the crime and phone records have revealed that he was in touch with the accused. “We are verifying if Ansari was touch with any gang or had connections with policemen,” said an officer.