x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Murder suspect in killing of Bollywood starlet Laila Khan back in Dubai

Police in Mumbai say they won't rule out suspicion yet, despite having no proof Dubai man even knew Khan family.

Vafi Khan, seen with his wife Yasmine, has been let go by Mumbai police after they found no evidence of his involvement in the murder of Laila Khan.
Vafi Khan, seen with his wife Yasmine, has been let go by Mumbai police after they found no evidence of his involvement in the murder of Laila Khan.

DUBAI // A local businessman has returned to the emirate after Indian police failed to prove a link between him and the Bollywood starlet Laila Khan, who was murdered along with five relatives.

Vafi Khan, an Indian expatriate, returned on Tuesday after Mumbai police found no connection between him and the actress, to whom they had claimed he was married.

“It is a relief to be back,” said Mr Khan, 23. “I was harassed for no reason. I don’t know who this Laila Khan is and have never met her.”

This month Laila’s body was unearthed at the family homestead, 140km outside Mumbai.

She was buried alongside her mother, two sisters, a brother and a cousin, who went missing more than a year ago.

Police said the actress’s stepfather had confessed to the murders.

Mr Khan, also known as “Sonu” to his family, believes he was implicated because he was mistaken for a man by the same name – Sonu – who was known to the actress and her family.

The Dubai resident left for Mumbai on July 10 after police contacted his father.

Describing the last few weeks as “traumatic” for him and his family, he said he had been interrogated twice by the police.

“It is so humiliating for us,” said Mr Khan. “People keep asking us about this. Honestly, I don’t think it is the end of this.”

Mumbai police yesterday confirmed they had allowed Mr Khan to travel as they could find no proof of a relationship.

“Until now, there is no evidence that he is involved in the murders,” said Niket Kaushik, additional commissioner of police in the crime branch.

But he said investigations were continuing.

“We can’t say he is cleared of all suspicion. Until now there is no evidence to link him. He has been allowed to travel,” said Mr Kaushik.

Laila, a Pakistani-born actress, was known for her role in the 2008 film Wafaa.

pkannan@thenational.ae