A recent spate of murders has rocked the Mumbai film industry in a vicious case of life imitating art. A lucrative but dodgy business that’s run by several mafia families, Mumbai’s film industry (known as Bollywood) is responsible for the world’s biggest filmic output. As demonstrated recently, working there can be killer.
The recent murder of businessman Karan Kakkad is at the center of a major police inquiry. Kakkad, a would-be film producer, had come to Mumbai from Delhi with a dream: to make films and see his name on the silver screen. Unluckily for him, he fell prey to Vijay Palande, a bit player in the industry’s underworld, complete with a history of swindling and killing people for their properties with the help of a female accomplice. Simran Sood is a kind of femme fatale who lures rich, young guys like Kakkad, splurges and lives an extravagant lifestyle at their expense and then leads them to their death.
Yes, this stuff is real.
Sood and Palande (pictured) befriended Kakkad by showing him pictures of Sood posing with various celebrities snapped at parties (the star-struck Kakkad bought it into fairly quickly) and got him to burn through large piles of cash. Kakkad was eventually murdered, his B.M.W. stolen and his body dumped outside Mumbai city limits.
His family hadn’t been aware of his murder as they had not spoken to him for a few days. Eventually, his older brother came to Mumbai to file a missing persons report.
The police arrested Palande this week, along with two other accomplices, for the murder of an elderly businessman. That’s when Palande confessed to the murder of Kakkad. Kakkad’s body was discovered soon after that.
Karan Kakkad (pictured below), a young man on the verge of a promising Bollywood career, has lost his life because of money and his beemer.
Purnima Bhattacharya, a film producer living in Mumbai, is Special to Screen Comment.