Sitarist Anoushka Shankar’s blackmailer Junaid Ahmed Khan was as “mysterious” to his neighbours in his apartment building in Thane, as he is to the country that just woke up to him.
Khan (32), his wife Heena (30), their 11-month-old daughter Irfa, and domestic help Sadhana Jadhav (18) lived in a rented flat in Srushti Complex on Ghodbunder Road, Thane, for a month.
“We don’t know if the woman was his (Khan’s) wife or sister. They’d leave around 7 am and return after 9 pm. We didn’t know where they went or what they did. They never mingled with us or the other neighbours — they were mysterious. The house has been locked for three-four days,” said a neighbour, refusing to be named.
The building’s residents discovered Khan’s involvement in Shankar’s blackmailing only after the media visited the seven-storey building.
“We didn’t have any reason to suspect them as they had given us a police verification certificate. We also had a copy of their rent agreement, which said their 11-month lease began on August 1, 2009,” said a member of the managing committee, requesting anonymity.
The agreement was signed between Heena and flat owner Alia Sadia Z. Shaikh.
The society got a copy from the owners on September 13, two days before Khan was allegedly picked up by Delhi police. The residents, however, said they don't know of Khan being picked up from his house since there is no such entry in their record books.
Khan’s landlords, who live on the seventh floor, refused to speak to the media, saying they didn’t know Khan.
But Sadia Sheikh’s husband Z I. Sheikh reportedly rented them the flat due to his friendship with Heena’s father Dr Rafique Kudalkar, who is one of the witnesses mentioned in the police verification certificate.
The Kudalkars, who live in nearby Hiranandani Estate, also refused to speak to the media.