The crime branch of Mumbai police on Wednesday claimed that it has prima facie ascertained that the six human skeletal remains found in a pit at Laila Khan’s Igatpuri farmhouse a day earlier appear to be those of the missing starlet and her family members.
The remains of five females and a male were found from a six-feet-deep pit, which was dug at the instance of Jammu & Kashmir resident Parvez Tak, the main accused in the murder case and who claims to be the third husband of Celina Patel, Khan’s mother. “The skeletons have been sent for DNA profiling for a confirmation,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime)
He said three bodies were hidden under stones and mattresses, while the other three were dumped above them. The pit was then filled in with earth by Tak and his accomplice Shabir Hussien, who was brought as a watchman by Tak from J&K to guard Khan's farmhouse, Roy said.
“Most of the bodies have skull fracture and the male skeleton has been assaulted brutally,” crime branch officials said, adding that they had recovered two knives — one from the pit and the other from the farmhouse — along with a rod and some jewellery. The jeans worn by Imran, Khan’s brother, was found intact, while the clothes worn by others had mostly decomposed, the officials said.
Tak, a road contractor, was staying with the Khan family at their Oshiwara residence for nearly two years before the murders took place, the police said.
Roy said that on February 2 last year, Tak, Patel and Khan’s cousin Affrin went for a holiday at their newly renovated Igatpuri farmhouse. Khan and her three siblings were to join them a few days later, but Tak and others returned on February 7.
“They found that Laila and others were ready to leave; they went ahead in an Outlander vehicle, which Laila owned. Parvez and Celina rested for a while and reached Igatpuri in the evening,” officials said, adding there was a barbeque party in the night, and everyone retired to their bedrooms at around 1am.
Later in the night, Patel and Tak had an argument, after which he hit her with a blunt object, causing her death. When other family members rushed to help, Tak and Hussein murdered them with knives and a rod, and then buried their bodies in the farmhouse.