Pair confesses to Murdering Bollywood Actress
Kidnapping, ransom and murder. The latest story unfolding in Mumbai has all the earmarks of a crime drama. Sadly, this is not fiction. Amit Jaiswal and Priti Surin have confessed to murdering Bollywood startlet Meenakshi Thapa after a failed attempt to extort a ransom from her family.
Earlier this week, Thapa’s headless torso was found in the septic tank at the home of Surin, one of the accused and police are attempting to locate the head, which was reportedly thrown from a train travelling between Allahabad and Varansai.
Just one year ago, Thapa was on TV, enthusiastically telling the media about landing a plum role in the psychological Hindi thriller 404.
According to the Times of India, Jaiswal was also an aspiring actor who coveted the celebrity lifestyle. Both Surin and himself are reportedly from Pakistan and met and befriended the victim on the set of Heroine. They observed how Thapa bragged that she belonged to a rich Nepalese family and acting was just a hobby for her.
Under the pretext of finding work, the two men lured Thapa to Gorakhpur, a city in the eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, on March 14. What happened next is uncertain, but Thappa’s family received a ransom demand for about $30,000.
Thapa’s family, however, was nowhere near as rich as she had led the pair to believe. Family members were only able to produce the equivalent of about $1,300. When the kidnappers realized Thapa was of limited use, they strangled and beheaded her shortly after the kidnapping.
After killing Thapa, it’s believed the accused took her mobile phone and ATM card. The family had received text messages demanding the ransom money be placed in Thapa’s own account, explained Sanjay Satardekar, Mumbai crime branch.
“We traced Meenakshi’s mobile phone to track their location,” Satardekar said. “The accused have confessed to their crime. We will investigate the case. Once the charge sheet is filed, the two will be produced in court.”
Director Prawaal Raman, who gave Thapa her break in 404, comments on her sad legacy: “she tried following her dream but fell victim to a few who unfortunately believe in short cuts. A lot of newcomers believe in immediately attaining a flashy lifestyle, without bothering to focus on a substantial body of work.”