Anuj Tikku, 42, whose father, senior citizen Arun Tikku, 67, was stabbed to death in his Lokandwala flat on the night of April 7, said that he heard about the murder only after crime branch officials traced him to criminal Vijay Palande’s farmhouse in Chiplun on Tuesday.
The small-time actor made this statement during his brief interaction with media persons before he was whisked away to the Mumbai police headquarters at Crawford Market.
The police brought him to the city from Chiplun on Tuesday.
A senior crime branch official said that it was quite possible that Anuj was unaware of the incident as he had no communication with the outside world after he was taken to the farmhouse in Chiplun by Palande on Saturday, the day of the murder.
“Palande quietly took away Anuj’s cell phone soon after they left Mumbai. Anuj thought he had lost it. So, without any contact with anyone, it is likely that he did not know anything about the murder,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.
Not everyone agrees. Another official played down Anuj’s claims.
“It is true that Anuj’s mental reflexes seem to be less than normal and that he has been on some medication. But one should keep in mind that he is an actor. It is not wise to take him on face value,” the official said, adding that Anuj is too qualified to be considered a naïve.
Anuj has done his bachelors in engineering from Manchester and his management course from an institute in Ghaziabad.
He has worked in several firms before he came to Mumbai from Delhi close to seven years ago following his divorce.
Since then, the 42-year-old has worked in several advertisements, apart from making small appearances in some Hindi films.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said: “We have not yet given a clean chit to Anuj Tikku. He is still being questioned. The picture will become clear in a couple of days’ time.”