There is growing concern across the Indian television industry and beyond for the welfare of Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan.
The former COO of Balaji Telefilms has been missing since July, and the company’s creative head, Indian soap opera supremo Ekta Kapoor, has urged the Indian government to send a search party to find him.
Kapoor shared a picture of Khan on Instagram, where she wrote, “Our ex coo of @balajitelefilmslimited has disappeared from Nairobi almost three months ago. I request @meaindia @kenyaredcross to kindly look into this (sic).”
Khan and a friend, Zaid Sami Kidwai, went missing in Kenya almost 90 days ago. There has been speculation that the pair, along with a taxi driver named Nicodemus Mwania, were murdered by the Kenyan SSU – the Special Service Unit, a group allegedly responsible for many extrajudicial murders in the country.
Khan was in Kenya as part of the Kenya Kwanza digital campaign team. He was the COO of Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms and a former executive of the Indian entertainment channel Star Plus.
His family has been trying to ascertain his whereabouts since June, but Kapoor’s recent post has given the case a much higher profile.
A spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said of the case: “India has been in touch with the Kenyan authorities on the matter. As far as we understand, there were two Indian nationals, Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Zaid Sami Kidwai, and they have been missing in Kenya since mid-July. A police complaint was filed there soon after that.”
“Subsequently, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the Kenyan court. We understand that the issue is now sub-judice in the high court of Kenya and a number of hearings have taken place.”