Saturday, November 10, 2012

Read more: Ghosts galore: Mumbai’s most haunted locations |

Serial killer's first victim visited him daily after dying!

Borivli murderer has stated that after he killed his friend in 2008, his ghost frequented him and asked him to join him; only after he performed a pooja did the spirit leave

July 05, 2012

Shiva Devnath
while interrogating Borivli serial killer Gopal Pandey, cops have recorded spooky revelations by the dreaded criminal. In his statement, Pandey told the police that after he killed his friend Vijay Dubey alias Chhotu four years back, he started having sleepless nights, as Chhotu’s ghost visited him every night. And only after he performed a pooja did Chhotu’s spirit stop visiting him.

Soul searching! The Borivli police arrested Pandey along with his accomplices on June 28
According to Pandey’s statement, ‘whenever he slept or even took a nap, he saw Chhotu standing and smiling next to him, asking him to come along with him.’ Scared by the daily arrival of his friend’s spirit, Pandey decided to invoke the gods. Pandey visited the Trimbakeshwar Mandir in Nashik, and narrated the incident to the priest, but didn’t reveal that he had murdered his friend. After the pooja was performed, Pandey claimed that the ghost vanished.
Pandey, who hails from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, had called Chhotu to the city from Gorakhpur, as the latter wanted to work in Mumbai. Chhotu soon took up a job as a rickshaw driver. The two grew close to each other, and would consume alcohol every evening. After getting drunk, Chhotu would state, ‘Pandey bhai, I want to kill this man and that man.’
According to the police, Chhotu and Pandey’s daily ritual of drinking turned ugly one day after they had a spat. In a fit of rage, Chhotu told Pandey he would kill him. Enraged and fearing that Chhotu would really bump him off, Pandey kidnapped him with the help of his accomplices and then murdered him in a car, doused the body in petrol and set it on fire in the jungles of Manor.
Following similar modus operandi, he pulled off the murders of Chavan and Dhakan in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
Previous victims
Nitin Dhakan
Killed: 2012
According to cops, Dhakan and Pandey were involved in a property deal. On April 26, the two had a heated argument, following which Dhakan called off the deal. Pandey and the other accused then used Dhakan’s car to kidnap him, drove him to the jungles of Manor on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, and then thrashed Dhakan to death.
Sanjay Chavan
Killed: 2010
Sanjay Chavan, who was a loan agent from Shimpoli in Borivli, went missing on March 11, 2010. Pandey has confessed that on March 12, 2010, he and his accomplice killed Chavan, who was insisting that Pandey return the loan of Rs 8 lakh he had taken to buy a car.


Laila Khan case: Human remains found at her farmhouse, say sources
Nashik: A team of officials from the Mumbai Police crime branch has reportedly found human remains at Bollywood starlet Laila Khan's Igatpuri farmhouse, where she was allegedly killed along with her relatives. The remains will now be sent for analysis to ascertain identity, say sources.

Around 1000 policemen had launched the search after main accused Parvez Tak told the Jammu and Kashmir Police that the actor and her five relatives were murdered and their bodies were buried around her farm house in Untdari behind Ghatan Devi. Tak had reportedly told the Jammu Police that Laila, who had been missing for 11 months, was murdered along with her mother, Celina, her two siblings and two half-sisters.

During interrogation, he reportedly revealed that they were shot dead near Mumbai by three men who included Celina's second husband, Asif Sheikh, and a man named Afghan Khan, who was allegedly Laila's lover. Tak, who is Celina's third and current husband, was the other man involved in the murders, he confessed, according to sources.

Tak was brought to Mumbai from Jammu on Sunday night by the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police for questioning in connection with the case.

The Mumbai Crime Branch had begun investigations immediately after taking custody of Tak. A team of officers reached Laila's farmhouse in Igatpuri early on Monday morning. During the search at the farmhouse, four kilometers of the area around was cordoned-off and barricades put up.

Crime Branch officials have also detained Jolly Guilder and Mehboob, who Tak had hired to drive the Mitsubishi Outlander from Igatpuri to Indore and onward to Delhi, and finally to Kishtwar.

Laila lived in a suburban Mumbai flat with her mother, three siblings, and another relative. They disappeared from their flat on February 7, 2011.  The Mumbai police say they were taken by her stepfather, Parvez Tak, to the farmhouse in the Nashik district. This was the last location traced through Laila's cellphone records. A few days later, the farmhouse was set on fire.

The motive for the murder was allegedly the property owned by Laila and her mother. They owned two flats in Mumbai, and Celina's second husband and Laila's boyfriend wanted to stop her from selling these apartments.

Laila was last seen in a movie 'Wafaa' with actor Rajesh Khanna in 20

Laila Khan's Farm house, Parvez Tak
Deception point: An enraged Parvez Tak (inset) killed six members of the family at the farm house in Igatpuri when he learnt that Saleena’s first husband was alive and her second husband had been handed all the authority and properties

6 persons' remains unearthed at Laila's Igatpuri farmhouse

Crime Branch closer to solving year-old mystery surrounding disappearance of actress and 5 members of her family with recovery of bodies, 2 cellphones

July 11, 2012

Shiva Devnath
The Mumbai Crime Branch (CB) finally made a much-awaited breakthrough in the Laila Khan case with the discovery of human remains of six individuals buried in the backyard of the starlet’s farmhouse in Igatpuri along with two mobile phones.

After descending on the spot early on Monday morning and working throughout the day and late into the night with no success, the sleuths found the remains buried around six feet deep on the premises yesterday evening.

Where the bodies lay: Cops cordon off Laila Khan’s home and laid a barricade around the home stretching for over 12-km. The police dug up five spots before they found the remains. Tak who until now had been booked for kidnapping, will now be booked for murders. Pics/Sameer Markande
Crime Branch official resumed the search operations yesterday by 11 am and finally made the discovery around 5 pm.
Police personnel from eight police stations in Igatpuri and personnel from various police training schools in Nashik district were roped in to keep the media at bay.
Over a thousand personnel turned the location into an impenetrable fortress by laying siege and barricading a 12-km radius surrounding the property and the routes leading to it, including the three kilometre stretch from the highway.
Digging deep
Five buses full of police personnel from Mumbai reached the spot, Parvez Ahmed Tak was secretly brought in a police mobile van and three teams of forensic experts followed suit.
According to the police, Tak has proved a hard nut to crack and had been misleading his interrogators.
After pointing out five spots, which were dug up with no success, they finally found the right spot after Tak was treated to stronger measures.
A temporary tent was erected over the spot and the digging began.
By 5 pm and four feet into the dig, the sleuths began finding bones.
The digging continued till the trench was six feet deep and besides human remains, the sleuths found two mobile phones and a pillow, which they suspect was used in the crime.
Forensic experts have taken the bones, fingerprints and other vital evidence, which will be sent to the Kalina lab.
 Laila’s Igatpuri farmhouse
DNA taken from the spot will be matched with Nadir Patel to ascertain if they belong to Laila and the rest of her family.
Tak who until now had been booked for kidnapping, will now be booked for murders.
DCP Ambadas Pote of the CB confirmed the findings. He said, “The investigation is progressing in the right direction and only after the forensic reports it will be established if the remains are of Laila and her family.”
Sonu returns from Dubai
Tak in his confession to the J&K Police said he and Shakir Hussein, both residents of Nali Bhunzwah, Kishtwar District, J&K, murdered all six family members a few days before the victims were to leave for Dubai. Laila Khan was going to Dubai to solemnise her marriage with Sonu alias Vafi Khan, who is the son of close Dawood aide Kamal Jadhwani. Based on Tak’s confession, the Mumbai Crime Branch summoned Jadhwani for questioning. Six hours later, he spoke to his son in Dubai and convinced him to return. Sonu reached Mumbai on Saturday and will be questioned by the CB today to ascertain his involvement in the case.

The Ghost Hitchhiker - Mostly True Stories


The Times of India

Rajesh Khanna's bungalow Aashirwad was haunted

Ali Peter John, Mumbai Mirror J
(Rajesh Khannas house AashirwadMore…)

Sometime in the sixties, Carter Road was just a cluster of bungalows, mainly belonging to the East Indian community and Parsis. The only known bungalow facing the sea was Aashiyana built by the music director, Naushad, who had just tasted big success. There was another bungalow close to it; a two storeyed one in a decrepit and dilapidated state. People in the locality called it a haunted house aka bhoot bangla. There were no takers for it, and it stood there without anyone willing to buy it even when it was offered at dirt cheap prices.
A friend brought the existence of the bungalow to the notice of Rajendra Kumar, who was then a young man, a victim of the Partition, who had just landed in Mumbai and made a name for himself in the industry. He was willing to buy the bungalow but didn't have enough money. He rushed to the well-known filmmaker B R Chopra and told him he was not only willing to do Kanoon (India's first songless film) but also two other films if he were paid in advance. The kind-hearted Chopra paid him Rs 90,000 in cash. Rajendra found out who the owner of the bungalow was, and sealed a deal for just Rs.60,000. He shifted there but not before consulting his best friend, actor Manoj Kumar. Now Manoj had heard of the bungalow being haunted, however he advised Rajendra not to take the stories seriously and instead perform a puja and move in.
Rajendra gave the bungalow a new look and named it Dimple, after his daughter. He was so grateful to Manoj that he kept a room on the upper floor for Manoj's use at any time. He even named his son Manoj, who was to later become actor Kumar Gaurav. It was during the time Rajendra lived in Dimple that he saw the kind of success very few stars had seen. Every film he starred in was at least a jubilee, so much so he earned the moniker 'Jubilee Kumar'. He grew richer and built another bungalow at Pali Hill, which he again named Dimple.
It was at the same time that a newcomer called Rajesh Khanna was taking his first big steps as a star. He came from a rich family and had even made enough money on his own. He realised Rajendra was looking for a buyer for his Carter Road bungalow and felt it would be a good investment. His superstition became his guide --- he believed Rajendra's success would rub on to him if he shifted there.
After much begging and pleading, Rajendra finally decided to sell the bungalow to Rajesh for just Rs 31/2 lakh. Rajesh too wanted to name the bungalow Dimple, but Rajendra flatly refused because he had already named his Pali Hill bungalow by the same name. So, Rajesh shifted into the bungalow, gave it a fresh look, and called it Aashirwad.
Call it superstition or whatever you may, his entire life and career changed as soon as he shifted there. Success chased him all the way till he became India's 'first superstar'. His belief or 'superstition' paid him rich dividends. It was in this same bungalow that he, by some quirk of fate, married a very young Dimple Kapadia, and this was the same bungalow which became more popular than any of Mumbai's famous sites. It was from here that he looked out of his window to see hundreds and thousands of people, mostly girls, waiting for hours, only to get a glimpse of him. It was in this bungalow that he planned all his moves, and sat with his friends drinking till late in the night, devising ways to increase his popularity. It was here that he saw the kind of success no other star has ever seen.
However, this was also the bungalow that saw his fall from grace as one film after another flopped at the box office and a stage came when an actor called Amitabh Bachchan, with eight big flops to his name, struck gold with Zanjeer, and snatched away all the glory from the greatest superstar. Life was never the same for him again. His wife and children left him, and this house.
Success also left with them. He reached a point where he had no work, no fans, and not even those so-called admirers, who made being with him their way to earn a livelihood. A time came when he stopped receiving even a single bouquet on his birthday and there was absolutely no fan mail (this was the same Rajesh who received love letters from girls inked in their blood). Finally, this one-time haunted house started haunting him and he spent most of his time in his office on Linking Road, going home only to sleep in a tiny bedroom in a corner. The story took a bizarre turn when he first fell sick and then never recovered, and finally it was from this bungalow that he had to leave the world forever.
His daughters are now planning to convert Aashirwad into a Rajesh Khanna museum, but it is still very early to say. Whatever happens, the one-time haunted house will always be remembered as the house of the superstar Rajesh Khanna.
The Times of India

Spooky tales from the hills

IANS Jul 19, 2012, 12.00AM IST

Ghosts from Shimla's past are back to haunt this picturesque hill town. Shimla-based writer Minakshi Chaudhry has come out with another set of 16 spooky tales of the spirits that refuse to die down.
"Spirits wander in these hills - the English nurse, the theatre manager, the lord and his sister, the ghost who gave away his treasure - these are real encounters narrated by the local people of Shimla and nearby areas," says journalist-turned-writer Chaudhry.
With thrilling twists and turns, each story recreates the horror of the victims and the fear of the unknown, she says.
Her latest book " More Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills" (Rupa and Co), released last week here by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, is a collection of 16 stories about the supernatural, originating from Shimla folklore to the trail of the Raj.
The author's earlier book, 'Ghost Stories of the Shimla Hills', published in 2005 also by Rupa and Co, became a bestseller and is in its 10th reprint.
"Ghost Stories became so popular that I was repeatedly asked to bring out the second volume," Chuadhry told IANS.
For the 42-year-old writer, Shimla, which served as the summer capital of British India between 1864 and 1939, is the perfect place for the supernatural beings, the main characters of her stories, to survive the onslaught of modern times.
Dark moonless nights, lonely stretches, mist enveloping hills and valleys, something howling in the faraway jungle - everything in the Shimla hills gives an appearance of these unearthly beings.
In these 16 stories, she says, the readers will encounter bhoots (ghosts) and churails (witches) who wander in the Shimla hills. These stories also tell us about the cultural and religious life of hill people. Generations of Shimlaites grew up hearing stories about bhoots and churails. These tales based on facts and experiences shared by people, have been narrated in a fictionalised way.
Chaudhry, who has 11 books to her credit, says when she started working on the second collection on spirits, she was amazed by the response she got from the people.
"The surprised look that I got from people when I had wandered in and around Shimla in 2003, collecting tales for 'Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills', was gone. It was no longer a frustrating or embarrassing experience. This time no one said to me: ghosts in this age? I met so many people who had not only enjoyed the book but who even expressed their disappointment that I had not included the real tale they knew or that a popular story from their area was left out," she says.
The new book includes tales about the spirit of an English nurse who wanders in the wards of Lady Reading (now known as Kamla Nehru hospital in Shimla), taking care of the children in need; a theatre manager - an Englishman who died before India's Independence who was so much in love with Shimla that he did not leave even after he died and his spirit haunts the (Gaiety) theatre and roams there on dark nights.
In these stories we meet people who can talk to the spirits and who live between the two worlds - living and the dead! We also travel to the strange world of fairies, who land and take off at the lawns of Pari Mehal (a locality in Shimla) and meet members of a unique family that claims to have met ghosts just as we meet each other.
"Most of the bhoots and churails narrated in the book are not scary. In fact, some of them are naughty," Chaudhry says.
"There is a touching tale of a Muslim ghost who came to Shimla hills (in Nankhari village, some 100 km from Shimla) after partition and stayed back. It plays pranks on people but as it grew old, it lost interest in teasing people and longed to go back to Lahore but could not do so," she says.
The writer, who herself never had a ghostly encounter, has learnt a lot about their spooky ways through research and interviewing people who have experienced an interaction with a spirit or ghost.
"Ghosts prefer thick, dark groves, murky alleys and lonely spots, uninhabited forested paths, 'bowlis' (natural water points) and springs. Ghosts and spirits love mountains," she adds.

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