Six bodies found in hunt for missing actress

Stepfather accused of killing Bollywood star Leila Khan.

by Jennie Kermode

She was best known for her starring role in Wafaa: A Deadly Love Story, a modern film noir about a planned killing that goes wrong. When Laila Khan herself went missing, investigators were unsure where to begin the search. The 31 year old Bollywood star led a dramatic life with unexplained wealth and alleged links to terrorist organisations, but now it looks as if she was killed by someone much closer to home.

Following the interrogation of Laila's stepfather, Parvez Iqbal Tak, six bodies have been found buried in a pit at the actress' farmhouse compound. Their identities have yet to be confirmed but they are believed to be Laila, three of her siblings, her cousin and her mother. According to police, Tak admitted to killing his wife in a fit of jealousy and, with the help of a handyman, killing the remaining family members because they had witnessed the original crime. Two knives and an iron rod, believed to have been used in the killings, were found with the bodies.

Tak's motive for killing his wife is understood to have been sexual jealousy and a belief that he had been cheated after his own ambition to appear in films was stymied. He was reportedly facing financial difficulties.

At the time of her disappearance, Laila was working on a film with director Rakesh Sawant, who was instrumental in driving forward efforts to find her. She was initially though to have moved to Dubai, but neighbours were suspicious when they saw her Persian cats, which had always been well cared for, foraging around the farmhouse.

Tak is now awaiting trial.

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