None of his scripts ever materialised into a movie. But this time, this 31-year-old scriptwriter wrote a devious script that claimed an innocent life and changed the course of his life.
Shanti Deep Verma — an alumni of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) — tricked an aspiring model into giving an audition for a movie, held him hostage for ransom and killed the victim when his plan went awry.
Verma’s interrogation revealed that he asked aspiring actor Sumit Tiwary into playing a scene from the movie ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ and killed him during the scene.
“Verma assured Tiwari a role in his upcoming film and asked him to give an audition at his own flat. For two days, he made Tiwari enact various scenes. On the fateful day, Verma showed a scene from ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ where the actor was tied and gagged,” said Dheeraj Kumar, additional DCP (northeast).
Tiwary enacted the scene and let Verma tie and gag him. Verma then announced that he had been abducted and that his family would have to pay R2 lakh for his release, said Kumar.
When Tiwary started struggling, Verma killed him. “Verma feared Tiwary might alert his neighbours and strangled him. He bought a suitcase from Mandawali and stuffed his body inside it but could not take it out,” Kumar said.
Verma desperately needed funds to fulfill his aspirations. He had written four scripts but none was sold. He then planned to produce his own film, for which he needed money.
“Verma put up advertisements on his Facebook profile with his contact number. Tiwari contacted him for a role and fell into the trap, said an investigating officer.
Tiwari’s body was found in Verma’s flat in Mandawali on February 23. He was missing since February 21.