They say journalism is fraught with risks that one can’t fathom. This I realised on discovering former Bollywood siren Mamta Kulkarni.
To get in touch with the elusive and controversial Mamta Kulkarni was a big kick because she was reported ‘missing’ from India for over a decade. She never spoke to the Indian media before and her whereabouts were shrouded in mystery because it was rumoured that she was dating Vikram alias Vicky Goswami, who was described as a drug-lord by the South African police and the press.
Through sheer persistence, I was able to get through to her one day. I established contact with her through email. Once I got her email, I was given a link to her website. I got a chance to look at her recent photographs, compared them with her location through her IP address and then compared it with some privileged data that my friend provided.
I was convinced that I was interacting with Mamta Kulkarni. After verifying the authenticity by checking the chats, emails and the links, I published her interview on my blog.
My discovery of Mamta Kulkarni and her subsequent interview created a kind of sensation among her fans and I was quite happy at having achieved the feat.
I moved on to the next story as usual. But it seems that for some, the story has just begun.
This time the story doesn’t centre around Mamta Kulkarni, but her beau and drug-lord Vicky Goswami.
The South African police and a section of the press are hot on the heels of Mamta Kulkarni’s boyfriend and I have now become a cog in the wheel, much against my wishes.
Why Johannesburg Police is after me
I had started to receive mails right after I published the interview with Mamta Kulkarni. I had expected that after giving that exclusive interview to me she would speak to others in the Indian media. I had also asked her if she wanted me to connect her with anyone in the media, but for some strange reason, Mamta clammed up. I remained the only journalist from India to have established contact with her.
I had heavily edited her interview and didn’t publish any name. But the subsequent withdrawal of Mamta from the rest of the Indian media spelt trouble for me.
Why Mamta Kulkarni is a prized catch for Johannesburg Police
Within a day of the publication of the interview, I started receiving mails from ‘people’ who want to get in touch with Mamta. Those names sounded strange, and typically like those that spam your account with details of how they have inherited a cash stash and want to transfer part of the funds to your account.
Some of these mails directly go to my spam account. I deleted all those mails.
Then came one ‘comment’ on the blog where there was a request of providing the exact location of Mamta. I traced the IP address of the sender and it seemed to have originated from some hidden government ID in Johannesburg.
I did manage trace the location of Mamta from the footprints of her social media handles but I didn’t want to give that out. It was nowhere near the USA as she declared on her twitter account.
Later, I deleted that comment too.
Two days back, I received another mail from the official ID of one of the most reputed investigative journalist in Johannesburg attached to one of the biggest newspapers there. The journalist desperately wanted me to cooperate with them and tell them about Mamta’s location. They believed Mamta would lead them to Vicky.
The mail had three attachments – the resume of the journalist and all the links to her office and scanned newspaper articles.
The mail explained in detail why they have ‘unfinished business’ with Vicky Goswami. The mail also says that the journalist had gone to Dubai to speak with Vicky after his release but he was not allowed an audience by the Dubai Police. The journalist was also allegedly attacked by unidentified people in Dubai.
Why I cannot cooperate with the South African police
First of all, Jo’burg Police is not Mumbai Police and Vicky doesn’t have a criminal record in India.
For some reason, Vicky is not on the ‘wanted’ list in India. Neither is he labelled as an international terrorist or a criminal. I guess that enabled him to fly out to another country immediately after he was released from the Dubai prison. Technically, Vicky was deported to India upon his release but he has managed to fly out of the country.
Vicky flew out to a safe haven before the Johannesburg police could get to him. Now, the only way to reach him is through his girlfriend, who reportedly got married to him while in prison and for some reason, they assume one of the ways to reach Mamta Kulkarni is through me.
According to the last mail that I received, the specific reason why Vicky is such a prime target for the SA police is because of the mysterious disappearance of a prominent south African businessman known Rocks Dlamini. According to reports, Dlamini worked for Vicky. This is what the mail says:
‘I understand you might know the whereabouts of former drug baron, Vicky Goswami, and Bollywood actress, Mamta Kulkarni. I have been following and investigating Goswami’s drug dealing in South Africa for years, even went to Dubai to try and interview him but the authority refused to let me, I would like to speak to him again since he is out of jail, we have some unfinished business; there is a businessman, Rocks Dlamini, who disappeared without trace in South Africa on April 6 1995 and Goswami holds the key on what happened to Dlamini. If possible, can you help me interview Goswami or trace him.’
The incident goes like this: Dlamini was sent to a prominent businessman called Irvin Khoja by Vicky Goswami. Khoja is one of the richest businessman in South Africa and was the top boss of the South African Football Federation. He is lovingly known as ‘Iron Duke’ in South Africa. There were reports of gunshots after Dlamini went inside Khoja’s house to collect the ‘payment’. He disappeared soon after.
The family of Dlamini approached South African president Nelson Mandela and was assured of a proper investigation.
Let’s hope that the law takes its own course in South Africa but I want to protect the interest of the person who trusted me with an interview after a silence of 14 years.
If you really want all the details, approach me through Mumbai Police.
Shortlink of the post -> http://bit.ly/15DzmmT
Disclaimer: The journalist who contacted me officially told me that he is not cooperating with the SA police and getting to Vicky Goswami is purely a journalistic pursuit.
Related blog posts:
(a) The blog where I announced that I had discovered Mamta Kulkarni -> Desperately seeking Mamta Kulkarni
(b) Mamta Kulkarni’s first interview after 14 years where she admits being in a relationship with convicted druglord Vicky Goswami -> Mamta Kulkarni on her underworld links
(c) The first part of the Mamta Kulkarni interview where she says that she has become spiritual -> Mamta Kulkarni, unplugged!
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