Gangster's moll? Mamta Kulkarni, Monica Bedi, Mandakini: The M-connection of mafia and Bollywood
Mamta Kulkarni is in the news due to her involvement in a Rs 2,000-crore drug racket. Interestingly, she is part of a unique group of actresses, whose names starts with M and are linked to the underworld
Mamta Kulkarni and Vicky Goswami
The crime branch of Thane police, which is investigating an international ephedrine supply racket, on Friday issued a notice of 'declared proclaimed offender' to former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni and her partner and drug lord Vicky Goswami.
A team of crime branch officials went to Kulkarni's house at Sky Enclave in Versova, suburban Mumbai, and pasted a notice on the door as the actress' whereabouts are not known.
Similar notice was pasted at Goswami's residence in Ahmedabad, said assistant police commissioner Bharat Shelke, the chief investigating officer.
"If both the accused fail to remain present before Thane police within the given period, we will start the process of seizing their properties with court's permission," Shelke was quoted as saying by the news agencies.
A non-bailable warrant had been earlier issued against the former Bollywood actress in connection with the Rs 2,000-crore narcotics racket unearthed in Thane in April 2016.
Interestingly, Mamta is not the only Bollywood beauty to be linked to the murky underworld. The underworld and Bollywood has had a long connection. The fatal attraction between Bollywood beauties and mafia dons is well documented. Interestingly, there seems to be a M-connection also between the mafia and Bollywood.
Here are three Bollywood actress linked to the underworld whose names started with M.
She took Bollywood by storm in the '90s with her bold acts in a few movies before disappearing. She starred in a number of commercially successful Bollywood films in the 90s – ‘Waqt Hamara Hai’ (1993), 'Krantiveer' (1994), 'Karan Arjun' (1995) and 'Sabse Bada Khiladi' (1995). She even won the New Face of the Year award for her performance in 'Aashiq Awara' (1993). She was last seen in the 2002-flop 'Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum'.
Mamta Kulkarni then made the headlines again in November 2014 when reports emerged of her being detained in Kenya along with her husband and alleged drug-lord Vicky Goswami on the grounds of alleged drug trafficking. Goswami's name has also been linked in the Rs 2000-crore Thane drug racket. In Mach 2017, a Thane district court issued non-bailable warrants against Vicky Goswami and Mamta Kulkarni in the 100-kg ephedrine haul case.
The former Bollywood actress has denied all allegations against her, saying she was a "yogini" and "innocent". "I am a yogini (ascetic). I am engaged in spirituality and it effects by activities since the past 20 years. I am innocent of the accusations against me," Kulkarni, 44, had said in a videotaped statement from Kenya's Mombasa, where she is currently based.
Hindi film and television actress Monica Bedi gained notreity as gangster Abu Salem's girlfriend. The duo's love story started in the late '90s during a Dubai show. Salem would allegedly make calls to Bollywood filmmakers to cast her. In her short-lived Bollywood career, Monica was seen in films like "Jodi No.1", "Jaanam Samjha Karo" and "Pyaar, Ishq Aur Mohabbat".
Monica Bedi then vanished, only to then make headlines when she was arrested along with mafia don Abu Salem in Lisbon in September 2002 for entering Portugal using forged documents and deported from Portugal in November 2005. They were deported after a nearly four-year long legal battle, only once India assured that Salem would not get the death penalty. On her return to India, she was jailed and only released in Hyderabad in July 2007. She tried to re-start her Bollywood career. Among others, Bedi was seen in 'Bigg Boss' season 2 and 'Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja'.
Mandakini created a stir on her Bollywood debut in 1985 thanks to her bathing scene in 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili'. She was linked to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. One of the theories floating around at the time was that she had shifted to Duabi to be with him. The actress, however, has denied all the rumours.
Born to an Anglo-Indian family in Meerut, her debut in Ram Teri Ganga Maili saw her wearing a see-through sari and breast-feeding a baby, both of which created a furore back then. Her second claim to fame was when her pictures with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim were leaked out. She, however, denied reports that she had married the latter. After failing to revive her career, she married a Buddhist monk, Dr Kagyur T Rinpoche Thakur. She even made a comeback in Bollywood as a producer-director with 'The Lost Country'. On her association with Dawood, she had earlier told mid-day, in an interview, "I don't want people to connect me with Dawood any more or even think of that unfortunate episode. That's in the past now. I feel very bad that the media still wants to cash in on my name and make it as controversial as possible… I cleared my stand at that point of time. After some time, you get irritated. If you want to clean your image, it does not mean you have to give a statement every six months." (Read full interview here)