Monday, July 30, 2012

Mumbai for me: Bandra residents united multiple government agencies Bella Jaisinghani, TNN | Jul 30, 2012, 05.42AM IST


MUMBAI: The challenge to beautify the precincts of Mumbai's forts arises from the fact that multiple agencies own the land on which the monuments stand. Bandra's residents, who refurbished Land's End garden on the precincts of the Portuguese fort, were able to bring these different arms of the government to common ground, which was the secret of their success.

The project was completed in 2001 at a cost of nearly Rs 1 crore. Arup Sarbadhikary , of the Bandra Bandstand Residents' Association , takes a deep breath as he recalls the struggle put up before the dream was realized. "The main garden, where the amphitheatre stands, belongs to the BMC, while the lawns that stretch to the shore come under the collector. The broken wall with the gate is owned by the state department of archaeology and museums. We collaborated with all three guardians and, with MP funds from Shabana Azmi, Dilip Kumar and Priya Dutt, created this verdant haven," he says. "We continue to pay staff salaries for the upkeep and water the garden as well."

The road was littered with legal battles against land sharks who were hoping to appropriate the prime proper ty. However, the Land's End garden was finally beautified in keeping with heritage norms. Old stones from the fort's ruins and Behramjee Jeejeebhoy's mansion were used. Hundreds of trees were planted as well.

Architect P K Das, who undertook the project, says, "In Mumbai, a fort may come under the Archaeological Survey of India or state department of archaeology , while the land may variously belong to the BMC, state government, collector or Mumbai Port Trust. That is the tragedy of Mumbai's development, several agencies often work at cross purposes . Citizens, who remain the neutral factor, can bring these conflicting interests to common ground. We at Open Mumbai have demanded that each fort and its precinct be considered an area that needs to be conserved so that a comprehensive plan is implemented ."

The Land's End experiment has served as an inspiration to residents of Carter Road and Juhu, with residents investing serious sums to develop parks.

Mumbai for me: Rendezvous at the ruins anyone?

The precincts of Mumbai's six forts have been neglected, abused and encroached. The organizers of Open Mumbai, an exhibition currently on at Nehru Centre, have proposed that spaces for public leisure be created in their precincts.

In fact, the state department of archaeology as well as central Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had earlier announced similar plans to develop gardens, promenades and cafes in the precincts of the Sewri, Worli and Bandra forts. A similar plan was also in place for Vasai Fort in Thane district. But so severe was the damage to the monuments during restoration work that the larger plan to create public spaces in the precincts was truncated.

The only site where the dream took shape was in the precincts of Bandra Fort, where residents along with architect P K Das managed to create public and cultural spaces, though here too the state department of archaeology's restoration of the fort itself was a tragedy.

The six forts are at Sewri, Bandra, Worli, Mahim and Sion (two forts). Of these, Sion Fort is the largest, covering 53,810 sq m, and Kala Killa, also at Sion, is the smallest at 1,293 sq m.

Architect Vikas Dilawari agrees that the precincts surrounding forts should be turned into public spaces and tourist destinations. Indeed, all planners seem to be on common ground on certain issues, including demarcating these natural assets in the city's Development Plan (DP). It is another matter that these structures are anyway supposed to be 'protected' due to their historic status.

Dilawari suggests, "The revised DP, being prepared right now, should acknowledge these forts as our rich cultural assets, something missing in the earlier DPs. Once this is done, the restoration interventions proposed should encourage local, regional and national tourism . The easiest way to protect the historical structure is to have a recreational zone that serves the area, as in the case of Bandra Fort."

He adds that the precinct around the fort should be regulated but residents should be allowed to perform necessary repairs. "However, there should be no highrises , which engulf the very presence and setting of the monument," Dilawari says. The ASI monuments now have a new central law to protect them, which needs to be integrated with the revised DP, he adds.

Architect Chetan Raikar says the government neither has the resources nor the willingness to conserve forts, and hence "adaptive reuse" is the only viable option to maintain them. "This is possible if these places are converted into open spaces to attract tourists and locals. Mumbai is devoid of such open spaces and the public would be more than willing to even pay if these forts are developed as parks while maintaining the identity of the ruins. This does require willingness from the government, though," he says.

Dilawari says the government should also encourage small history museums as part of the adaptive reuse. The museums could have information about the forts as well as the locality. Subtle illumination could also draw attention to the structures. For instance, commuters who use the Bandra-Worli sea link pass the Worli Fort, but hardly know of its presence.

The organizers of the Open Mumbai exhibit say that by connecting the fort precincts to neighbourhoods, their isolation and abuse would be halted.


File:Sewri fort courtyard.jpg


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The course that’s been changing lives in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Every evening, when St Xavier's College turns on its yellow lights, a thousand canteen boys, sweepers, hawkers, labourers, milk vendors, clerks and receptionists wrap up a tough day's work and rush in for their lectures. Once in, they are in a world where all they are expected to do is hold a pen and pay attention.

Few in the city know about the evening course at the college. Started 24 years ago, the commerce section is perhaps a little out of sync with the loud Malhar and the campus fashion a sharp contrast to what one sees in top colleges. Also, most students don't return to a home or comforting security each day. Principal Errol Fernandes said, "The morning section was started to provide excellent education. The criterion to admit students is merit. The evening classes were started to cater to the distressed section of society and give them hope of a better life."

The classes begin with a short prayer of silence. "Students are asked to take a deep breath so they can get rid of the grime and tiredness of the day," Fernandes explained.

As the section enters its silver jubilee year, it has turned autonomous. Unlike other colleges, the attendance here is high, probably because the reason to study is different. There are no free lectures, and very often extra classes for weaker students are held on the train, during the faculty's journey back home.

For long, excellent education has mostly been the privilege of the moneyed and the meritorious. The commerce section at St Xavier's was started with the aim of breaking away from that norm. "These students are the ones who really need the help," said economics professor Kamaji Bokare. "The rate of change of life you see here is really high."

Akshay Shetty, who used to run a roadside stall outside Old Custom's House, is today a senior executive at a mutual fund firm. "I went on to do my master's and am also a cost accountant. The biggest change has been the respect I get today," says a proud Shetty. Till about five years ago, Prabhakar Poojary was a canteen boy in BEST earning Rs 600 a month. Today, he heads the Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius markets of a private fund and takes home an enviable pay packet of Rs 30 lakh. "When tough life becomes a routine, the rest becomes easy," he says.

Teachers take pride in the fact that two ex-students have made the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad—one is the vice-president of a private bank—but most importantly, they speak of the values the course has instilled in their students. Ravi Gaba was always a bright student; he bagged several cash awards in his years at St Xavier's. "When he graduated, he gave us all the cash prizes (totaling Rs 18,000) that he had won and said he wanted to leave it back for another needy student," recalled accounts professor Rajesh Vora.

Going to college means different things to different people. For some, collegiate education rebuilds their lives, for some others it is the bridge to a better path. For many others, it's a plunge out of a dark a day that shines as bright as the lights on the campus they walk to each evening.

Mumbai’s ‘oldest’ school to shift to new-age International Baccalaureate

MUMBAI: It's a fact that the only thing constant in society is change. And keeping this in mind, possibly the oldest school of Mumbai has decided to change its affiliation to International Baccalaureate (IB). Robert Money Technical High School in Grant Road completed 176 years of imparting education in the city and is currently busy renovating its century-old structure. Their IB section will start from the next academic year.

"We still have close to 330 students from the SSC section who will finish their schooling the same board but, simultaneously , we will start the new IB batch in our renovated building," said Rev Sharad Balid, administrator of the school. As of now, the Marathi medium and junior college sections have been receiving grants from the government while the rest is run by the Bombay Diocesan Society BCS). The IB school is a joint effort of BCS and Chanakya Gyan Kendra, and will be open students from 2013.

The trend of changing affiliations from state board to other central and internation-boards has been a part of the educational system for ages now. Christ Church School in Byculla has weathered the ups and downs of academia for more than a century . "Old schools are awakened by the challenges put forth by newer schools. We have an advantage because of our history but we cannot rest on our laurels," said principal Carl Laurie. After changing their affiliation to ICSE in the 1970s, the school also introduced the CIPP program (an evaluation model) a year ago. Similarly, the school may be looking to launch the IGCSE program in the near future. Since we didn't want to be a has-been school, we realized that we had to make certain changes that would help us adapt to this rapidly changing environment," added Laurie.

The Cathedral and John Connon School is considered one of the city's premier institutions for junior education. The key is to embrace the new without throwing out the old," said principal Meera Isaacs. Cathedral has never had any trouble keeping up with changing times. In fact, the school was the first in the city to establish a Learning Resource Center. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Cathedral released a special commemorative stamp in 2010.

Tradition has proven to be equally important to St Mary's High School in Mazgaon to the extent that it has maintained its uniform for more than a century. "Tradition implies that there is something good in . There is a sentimental value attached to the boys' uniforms. No one has ever tried to change this tradition," said principal Fr Kenneth Misquitta.

The Alexandra Girls English Institution in Fort is one of the oldest girls schools in the city and is ready to celebrate 150 years of existence. The school is preparing for an enormous celebration, which includes the release of a special postal cover, an interschool fest, ex-students' reunion and a grand show in April where the school souvenir will be released. However, it has no intention of changing affiliation any time soon. "The state board syllabus has evolved over the years and is at par with other boards, so we will continue our loyalty to the board. We'd rather focus on co-curricular activities to encourage children in all aspects of life," said principal Freny Mehta. The school will start its 150 years celebration from September 1.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mumbai’s oldest girls school turns 150

Published: Monday, Apr 16, 2012, 8:26 IST
By Puja Pednekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

At a time when most schools are opting for non-state boards and turning towards co-education, one of the city’s oldest girls state board school will enter into the 150th year of its inception in September 2012. The Alexandra Girls English Institution, Fort, is all set to celebrate its sesquicentennial year through a series of programmes so that the next generation of students can remember them.

Founded by social reformer, Manockjee Cursetjee in 1836, it is one of the first educational institutions started in the city to raise the social status of women. Interestingly, around 1863, Cursetjee started teaching 13 girls in the English medium at his residence ‘Villa Byculla’. Later, the school, then called ‘Alexandra Native Girls’ English Institution’, shifted to Waudby Road, now called Hazarimal Somani Marg. The school had on its board of directors, stalwarts of Indian society such as Sir Phirozeshah Mehta and alumni such as Madame Bhikaijee Cama.
The school also has one of oldest Parent Teachers Association (PTA) in the city. While many schools are drawing flak for not having a PTA, this school’s PTA has completed 56 years. The Ex-student’s Association is on the verge of celebrating its Platinum Jubilee. Principal Freny Mehta, said, “In 150 years, the school has achieved many milestones and the legacy continues. Alexandra’s 150 is a celebration of the continuing tradition of teaching young girls how to be critical thinkers and compassionate individuals. We have achieved a lot but there are still many miles to go.’’
On the occasion of its 150 years, the school management will introduce ‘Smart Class Technology’ for all the classes from I to X, apart from organising a series of events involving city schools. “To share our school’s values and culture, we will invite the participation of schools across the city in competitions ranging from academics to creative fields,’’ she added.
As per the founder’s wish, even today, value-education is provided with the object of developing the overall personality its students.
The school also allows its premises to be used by NGOs working for the under-privileged. “We collect goods and cash every year for the Junior Red Cross and the Army to inculcate the habit of giving and sharing among our students," Mehta said.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

George Fernandes ends ties with city

A few decades ago, when George Fernandes was on top of his game as the country's most powerful trade union leader, his hold over the BMC, BEST and the taxi drivers was so complete that every time he called for a Mumbai bandh, the city was brought to its knees.

Last Friday (July 20), 82-year-old Fernandes, battling Alzheimer's disease, ended his last remaining connection with Mumbai's trade unions when he quit as Mumbai Taximen's Union president.

The Union, which he founded in 1960, not only accepted the resignation - forwarded by Fernandes's wife Leila Kabir - it also announced a new president: Rajya Sabha member Hussain Dalwai.

The Union's general secretary, A L Quadros confirmed the development, saying: "The decision to co-opt Hussain Dalwai as the Union's president was taken at the managing committee meeting on July 20. Mr Fernandes has conveyed that he was no longer able to carry out the duties required of him as the Union's president due to health reasons. The election to the post was due only in 2014; hence we used a special provision to co-opt Dalwai as president."

Dalwai confirmed that he had accepted the Union's offer, and said he will take over as the Union's president at a meeting on July 29. Senior union leader and Fernandes's former colleague Frederick D'Sa, who is president of the Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union and the taxi union-backed Taximen's Services Limited, said that deteriorating health was the only reason for Fernandes's resignation. "I have known him for the past 41 years, and can't express the sadness with which we had to accept his decision to quit. We are letting him go with a heavy heart," he said.

Despite repeated attempts, Leila Kabir remained unavailable for comment.

The Taximen's Services Limited, which owns three petrol pumps (at Dadar, Bandra and Goregaon), was Fernandes's idea, to give the union members quality fuel on monthly credit and also soft loans to buy cabs, spare-parts and other such facilities. He also set up the Bombay Labour Co-operative Bank in 1968, now known as the New India Co-operative Bank, which has Quadros, D'Sa and Fernandes's other colleagues on the managing committee.

 George and Mumbai

» A native of Mangalore, George Fernandes was sent to Bangalore in 1946 to be trained as a priest. He arrived in Mumbai in 1949, and joined the socialist trade union movement.

» Fernandes's first shot at glory came in 1967, when he was offered a ticket by the Samyukta Socialist Party to contest the general elections. He defeated S K Patil of the Congress, and earned the nickname George the Giantkiller, while the defeat ended Patil's political career.

» As a fiery trade union leader, Fernandes organised countless strikes and bandhs in the city in the 1950s and 1960s.

» Fernandes went underground during the Emergency in 1975, but was arrested in 1976.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

why not mumbai retain the legacy of victoria horse wagons ;for Tourists;for Newly weds;for Future generations .Dont buckle to pressure to ban it.In many western countries it is not banned

Gosport Carriages "Victoria" carriage 01

The "Victoria" built in 1888 is a splendid example of Victorian manufacture, and is extremely popular with our customers, not only for weddings, but for corporate and pleasure rides.

This elegant and practical open carriage also has a hood in case of rain, completely sheltering it's passengers from the elements.

Victoria's Horse Drawn Carriages-canada

Carriage Ride 


Location: corner of Belleville
and Menzies Streets (beside the Legislative Buildings - look for the
burgundy umbrella!)

Tally-Ho is Victoria’s original horse-drawn tour company that has been creating unforgettable memories for visitors and locals alike since 1903. We love seeing the same customers come back year after year to share their experience with family and friends! Or are you new to Victoria?

Enjoying downtown Victoria in a horse carriage
victoria at vancour -canada 

Victoria Carriage

Victoria carriage Our Black and Burgundy Horse Drawn Carriage offers the ultimate Wedding experience that will stay with the bride and groom forever. You will travel in timeless tradition and style in our authentic Victoria Carriage.
The carriage is built to the highest specification and is properly maintained and immaculately clean with the attention to detail being second to none. It has leather upholstery with tapestry detail and ornate carriage lamps.

Company building image 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rane Ashish brings you pictures of a scintillating musical evening in Juhu, where Kathak dancers enthralled the audience with some memorable performances

Rane Ashish brings you pictures of a scintillating musical evening in Juhu, where Kathak dancers enthralled the audience with some memorable performances
Spinning act: Powerful spin is a speciality of this dance form

confused planning AND juhu airport

Juhu airport to get a runway over the sea[older news:-sealink from bandra to versova] another example of confused planning

Juhu airport to get a runway over the sea

Juhu airport to get a runway over the sea
Mumbai: With the initiative to develop Juhu airport, as a secondary airport gaining momentum, and plans to shift all of the small aircraft operations from Mumbai airport to Juhu on the anvil, it has now been decided that the existing runway will be extended westwards into the Arabian Sea - on stilts.

The aviation ministry's decision aims to reduce the burden from the only international airport in the city. Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said, "The increasing flight congestion at Mumbai airport is a concern for us, and we have decided to develop the Juhu airport so that it can take some load off the international airport. We want to shift the small aircraft operations to Juhu. A task force has been structured under the chairmanship of the Maharashtra CM, which will pursue the matter further. One joint secretary-level officer from the civil aviation ministry is also a member of this task force, and is coordinating with the state for necessary clearances."

When the minister was asked about the encroachments and was also informed that the runway of this airport is too small to cater to small aircraft like ATRs, he said, "The task force is studying important aspects including encroachments. The suggestion given by the consultancy firm to extend the Juhu airport runway into Arabian Sea also looks feasible. The existing runway will be extended by constructing stilts into the Arabian Sea." Singh also maintained that once necessary clearances are obtained, construction work would be on a fast track.

During a visit to the city last month, Singh along with the CM had conducted an aerial survey of Juhu airport, and later during a press briefing had announced that the airport would be developed. M Yadagiri, director, Juhu airport, also confirmed that the idea to extend the runway into Arabian Sea was once discussed with the cabinet secretary of Maharashtra. "It was mulled during a meeting with the state cabinet secretary to extend the runway into the Arabian Sea. I would not be able to comment whether it has finally been adopted or not, as it is a matter where the decision will be taken by the top officials."

Sources from Airport Authority of India (AAI), confirmed that movement of top officials from Delhi to Juhu has increased in the past few months. A team from the AAI planning department was on a three-day visit to Juhu to chalk out a strategy to clear the encroachments to pave the way for the new runway.

"Yes, the team was in Mumbai to study various aspects associated with Juhu airport, and encroachment could be one of the aspect," said Yadagiri.

Extended lengthJuhu's runway 08/26 lies in the east-west direction, and is currently 1,143m long, and will be extended by 877 metres to 2,020 metres by building it on stilts over the Juhu-Tara Road and into the Arabian Sea. Presently, the runway caters to a large number of chopper operations and a few number of fixed-wing small aircraft operate from here. According to the aviation ministry sources, around 100 flight operations (small aircraft), including ATRs, would be shifted to this runway, when it becomes operational. 

Shifting encroachers
40 Acres of Juhu airport, which has an approximate area of 400 acres, is encroached by slums. The aviation authorities along with the state authorities are chalking out a strategy to relocate over 3,000 hutments from the encroached area, so that the development process can start.

The Juhu runway extension plan was proposed to start in 2010, but the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) did not give its NOC then. However, in 2011, with Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules permitting roads on stilts in CRZ-I areas (within 100 metres of the shoreline), the project looks all set to take off.

Project runway
2010: The year Juhu runway extension plan was proposed
2020 metres: The proposed length of the runway
100: Number of flight operations (small aircraft), would be shifted to Juhu airport once operational

Versova link gets coastal body nod

Clara Lewis, TNN Aug 27, 2011, 01.11am IST
MUMBAI: The Bandra-Versova sea link on Friday received the go-ahead from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA). The authority also approved the offsite infrastructure for the Navi Mumbai international airport. Both the projects have been approved under the new Coastal Regulation Zone norms of 2011, said T C Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development.
The MCZMA will now write to the Union environment ministry to allow the construction of the two projects, said Valsa Nair-Singh, secretary, environment. The go-ahead from the MCZMA is considered a virtual green signal from the Union environment ministry as well

Nod for Bandra-Versova sea link
Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 30, 2011
First Published: 01:43 IST(30/12/2011)
Last Updated: 01:44 IST(30/12/2011)
Even as the state-appointed joint technical committee on coastal roads is slated to submit its report this week, the government has firmed up its decision to construct a sea link from Bandra to Versova.

A government resolution issued on Thursday by the Public Works Department(Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) said that the decision to construct a 10 km sea bridge 900 metres into the sea, from Bandra to Versova, had been finalised after considering four options. This alignment of the sea link had been recommended by MSRDC-appointed consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff, which carried out a feasibility study.
The GR states that the consultants recommended the sea link option after looking at preliminary cost estimates, environmental concerns and the new Coastal Regulatory Zone notification 2011.
This alignment has also got a go-ahead from the MSRDC board and was under consideration by the state. The state government, after consultations with the planning department and approval of the finance department, has now cleared this alignment.
The 8-lane link, which will run from Bandra to Versova, will have two connectors/inlets for vehicles at Carter Road junction (near Otters Club) and at Juhu Koliwada.
The sea link has got a green nod from the state coastal body and has been awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). "If we opt for mixed alignment or coastal road, we will have to struggle for clearances. MoEF is unlikely to clear the coastal road in a jiffy. In that time, the sea link project can take off," said a senior official, who did not wish to be named. There have been consistent flip-flops in the government in the last year on whether the Western Freeway project, aimed at linking south Mumbai to the western suburbs, should be a sea link or a coastal road.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who has been keen on a coastal road as it is cost effective, had set up a committee led by municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar to carry out a techno-feasibility report on the project. The report is likely to be submitted this week. This has already delayed the proposed Worli-Haji Ali sea link.


CBI initiates Juhu airport scam probe

MUMBAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a preliminary probe into a scam pertaining to Juhu airport, wherein senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials had waived tens of crores of rupees payable by builders who were given permission to increase the height of buildings in the vicinity.

In a letter to the AAI chief vigilance officer, the CBI has sought certified copies of files pertaining to the Juhu aerodrome licencing and has asked three AAI officials, who the agency is probing, to report to its office in Colaba. "J M S Negi, former AAI executive director, V K Dutta, AAI executive director and S K Dasgupta, DGM, NOC have been called for the probe,'' said a source.

Dutta confirmed that the CBI has called them for a probe and he will report to the office on Saturday. He said that the investigation was not about building height, but about a Juhu airport aeronautical study. Negi will report on Friday.

TOI had reported (January 12) about a cash-strapped AAI losing tens of crores as it charged builders a pittance, or nothing at all, for granting permission to increase the height of projects in the vicinity of Juhu airport. Initially AAI dropped the fees from Rs25 lakh to Rs 2lakh and then did away with the levy for projects within 20km of the airport. The main area where norms were flouted was within 2.5km of the airport, where AAI allowed buildings to rise to 56.27 metres above mean sea level (AMSL), even though the upper limit for safe flight operations is 49.87m AMSL. Juhu airport was the only one in the country for which AAI did not levy a fee.

Juhu airport revamp not possible, likely to shut: Report - Mumbai ... › Mumbai
May 14, 2013 - Juhu airport which is located in near the Arabian sea demands a high real estate price. - Mumbai - dna.

Juhu airport plan is stuck in the green zone - Mumbai - DNA › Mumbai
Fifty years ago, the Juhu airport was declared a green zone in spite of it being home to India's first civil aviation airport. - Mumbai - dna.

Bombay place-names and street-namesOn

Thursday, July 12, 2012


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

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.
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.