Cops search for Laila's body at Igatpuri farm

Jul 10, 2012, 06:33 IST | Shiva Devnath

Sleuths of the Mumbai Crime Branch (CB) have begun investigations immediately after taking custody of Parvez Ahmed Tak, the main accused in the murder of starlet Laila Khan and her family. A team of seven officers from Unit IX and XII reached Laila's farmhouse in Igatpuri early yesterday morning.

Trailing the investigators, a MiD DAY team covered the 140 km distance from the city to Igatpuri, before setting off on foot to reach the farmhouse a good three kilometers from the highway, as vehicles could proceed no further.

Hot on the trail: Sleuths at Laila’s farmhouse in Igatpuri yesterday. They conducted a search operation for the bodies in the surrounding area. Pic/Sameer Markande 

The CB sleuths had already begun searching for evidence at the spot and are looking for likely spots where the bodies of the victims could have been dumped. The search operation began at 7 am and stopped at 10.30 pm. The team will resume operations early today morning. Personnel of the Igatpuri police station have detained Prakash, the former watchman of the farmhouse, who had been working on the premises before Tak hired Shakir Hussein as his replacement.

Drivers held
CB officials have also detained Jolly Guilder and Mehboob, who Tak had hired to drive the Mitsubishi Outlander from Igatpuri to Indore and onward to Delhi, and finally to Kishtwar.

According to Guilder’s statement, Tak met him at a dhaba in Igatpuri after contacting a travel agent. Tak requested him to drive the Outlander as he had injured his right hand and Guilder agreed. He took his friend Mehboob along, while Tak and Shakir followed them in a Scorpio.

The Indore police stopped the Outlander, as the vehicle’s documents were not in order. Guilder called Tak on his mobile and the latter convinced the officials to release the vehicle as he was an NCP leader.

Guilder resumed the drive and halted at Agra to refuel. The next stop was made at Asiya Hotel in Jammu, where Tak paid Guilder Rs 6,000 and additional cash for train tickets for him and Mehboob to return to Igatpuri.

According to sources in the CB, on tracking Laila’s mobile records the day she disappeared in February last year, it was found that her phone was switched off at Ghodbunder road.

Tak had confessed that Laila wanted to collect cash for jewellery she had sold in the Mira Road-Ghodbunder area before she was to leave for Dubai, but he called her up and advised against carrying a large amount of cash to Igatpuri.

Tak said he then picked Laila up in a Tata Safari, killed her and took her body to Igatpuri.

Sources in the CB revealed that Laila may still be alive and is in cahoots with Tak to usurp the property. They added that they would not be able to confirm anything until a body is found.  

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