The decision of Bollywood starlet Laila Khan's mother to make her second husband, Asif Sheikh, the caretaker of their sprawling Igatpuri farm house triggered the killing spree of the family members, according to Pervez Tak, the main accused.
Tak, a forest contractor in Jammu and Kashmir with suspected LeT links, told crime branch investigators he did not like Sheikh's growing proximity to Shelina, Laila's mother. Tak is the third husband of Shelina.
Sheikh, a local builder, was also questioned by the Crime Branch in connection with the case of alleged kidnapping of Laila and five other family members, including Shelina.
Last year, when Laila Khan's family was on a vacation at their Igatpuri farmhouse, Shelina told Tak that she was planning to make Sheikh the caretaker of the property, sources close to the investigation said. According to sources, she had also got ready a power of attorney in favor of Sheikh. This, they said, provided the motive for the alleged killings.
Tak told his interrogators Laila and other family members were done to death because they had witnessed him killing Shelina.
The investigators had on Tuesday found six skeletons from the family farmhouse in Igatpuri town of Nashik district, raising strong suspicion that they could be of the Bollywood actress and her family members who had been missing since February last year.
Tak, after initially claiming that Laila and her family were in Dubai, told Jammu and Kashmir Police, which arrested him last month in a forgery case, that he killed them in Maharashtra.