London: Bollywood composer Nadeem Saifi, living in self-exile in Britain since he was accused of involvement in music tycoon Gulshan Kumar's murder in 2000, wants to return to India to see his parents. One half of the successful Nadeem-Shravan duo, Saifi was implicated 16 years ago in the killing of Kumar, the boss of his record label T-Series, but has claimed his innocence ever since.
In 2002, a British judge ruled the case against him had not been proved but his arrest warrant has never been withdrawn in India. "I don't want to die without getting justice," Saifi told BBC's Asian Network. The musician broke down in tears as he spoke to the radio station, saying: "I don't want my parents to die without hearing that I was innocent.
"My parents are lying ill in their beds, I so much want to see them. I deserve this justice, it's high time now." Saifi was on holiday in the UK in 1997 when Kumar was shot dead by assailants outside a temple in suburban Mumbai. He soon became a prime suspect in the murder. At the request of Mumbai police, the Indian government sought Saifi's extradition but the musician's legal team maintained the police's evidence was flawed. After an extended legal battle, he successfully avoided extradition. A British High Court ruled that "the accusation of murder and conspiracy made against this applicant is not made in good faith and in the interests of justice".
The verdict was later upheld by the House of Lords when the Indian government appealed. Saifi must appear in an Indian court for his warrant to be cancelled but fears he will not get a fair hearing. He has suggested his implication in the murder case was part of a larger conspiracy.
"It was just an act of jealousy from certain people who thought, 'Let's nail this good-looking hunk of a guy,'" he told BBC. Saifi is now planning a musical comeback and reportedly working in Dubai on some projects but is yet to confirm a release date for his new material.