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Monica's uncle to engage lawyer for her

He had earlier disowned her and all her activities saying his family had nothing to do with her.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2005 18:05 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

After initially disowning her for her relationship with mobster Abu Salem, relatives of disgraced starlet Monica Bedi have decided to help her fight her case in the courts.

Sources in Hoshiarpur town of Punjab, near which is Monica's village Chhabewal, said that her uncle Purshottam Bedi was likely to go to Mumbai within a couple of days to engage a defence lawyer for her.

Monica is facing charges of getting forged passports from Hyderabad and Bhopal before leaving the country and joining Salem in other countries.

The sources said that Monica's uncle had taken a loan of Rs100,000 from a local financer in Hoshiarpur to fight her case.

He had earlier disowned her and all her activities saying his family had nothing to do with her.

The sources said that Purshottam Bedi had told fellow villagers that Monica was not to be blamed for her current status as he had earlier thought and that he would now help her.

Her uncle is an agriculturist of modest means and lives in Chhabewal village, 10 km from Hoshiarpur city.

Monica was born in the same village in 1975 but her family immigrated to Norway when she was just six months old. She had come to the village only once in 1998 for her brother's wedding.

She is believed to have married Salem as his second wife but she on Saturday denied in a Hyderabad court that she was ever married to him.

Salem, one of India's most wanted criminals, is accused of having masterminded the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 people were killed and 1,400 injured.

Salem and Monica were extradited November 11 from Portugal, where they had been caught in 2002, after sustained efforts of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

First Published: Nov 19, 2005 23:19 IST