March 23, 2023

Former Balaji Telefilms COO Zulfikar Khan and his friend missing in Kenya murdered: Report

3 min read

Nairobi: Two Indians, Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan and his friend Mohammad Zaid Sami Kidwai, who went missing in Kenya in July this year, have been killed by the DCI unit. Local media reports quoted a close aide of Kenyan President William Ruto as saying. Zulfikar Khan was the former COO of Balaji Telefilms and a former executive of Star TV. He was part of the Kwanzaa Digital campaign team in Kenya. His family members had requested the government’s help in locating him and tried their level best to trace the missing executive.

Earlier, Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director of Balaji Telefilms, shared a post on Instagram about Zulfikar Khan urging the Indian Ministry of External Affairs officials to intervene in the matter. Some of Zulfi’s friends had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting help. Khan, who has held important positions in the Indian media industry, his friend Kidwai and a local taxi driver, Nicodemus Mwaniya, reportedly went missing in Kenya 90 days ago.

A close aide of the Kenyan president posted on Facebook claiming that both Zulfikar Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai had contributed greatly to the success of William Ruto’s presidential election campaign. Dennis Itumbi tweeted, ‘They (Zulfiqar Khan and Mohd Zaid Sami Kidwai) visited Mombasa, Homa Bay, Mara, Nyama, Choma Giants and also liked our dance giants. He had invited me to India. I told him that I will definitely visit India after the elections. His focus was mainly on enjoying Kenya as much as he could. He had prepared a very attractive campaign.

According to Itumbi, evidence suggests that the two were in a cab which was blocked by the DCI unit. Khan, Kidwai and their taxi driver were all taken to another car and killed. Itumbi said, three days after they were kidnapped, the trio were put in a vehicle and sent to Aberdares, 150 km from the capital, Nairobi. According to media reports, President Ruto had ordered the dissolution of the SSU last Saturday after the name of the Special Service Unit came up in connection with the disappearance of two Indians.

SSU works under the DCI of Kenya. Its main job is to collect intelligence and collect evidence in crimes of complex nature. However, the SSU is notorious as Kenya’s ‘killer police unit’. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said in this matter in the past, ‘India is in touch with Kenyan officials on this matter. As far as we know, there were two Indian nationals, Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Zaid Sami Kidwai, and they have been missing in Kenya since mid-July. Soon after that a complaint was lodged with the police there.

Arindam Bagchi had further said, ‘Later, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the Kenyan court. According to the information we have, this issue is now sub judice in the High Court of Kenya and several rounds of hearings have been held. He had said that the Indian High Commission in Kenya is in constant touch with the Kenyan authorities. We are also making efforts and are in touch with some family members of both the citizens, we are keeping a close watch on this issue, I am afraid, both of them are still missing.

Tags: double murder, International news, KENYA

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