Zulfikar Ahmad Khan, former COO of Balaji Telefilms, and his friend Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai were part of Kenyan President William Ruto's social media team.
The two Indian nationals who have been missing in Kenya for about three months were killed by a notorious special force unit disbanded by the new Kenyan administration, advisor to President William Ruto announced.
Kenyan Presidential Aide Says Missing Indians Were Killed by Disbanded Special Service Unit
Condemning the now-defunct Special Services Unit, SSU, Denis Itumbi, said the former COO of Balaji Telefilms Zulfikar Ahmad Khan, and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai, who was his friend were part of President William Ruto's social media team and helped immensely in the political campaign.
In a Facebook post, Mr. Itumbi said "We became friends. Sometimes when our team gets overwhelmed and we need a graphic, I send it their way and they paused what they were doing and did me the favor. They always did something extra as usual.
"A meme here, a video there, a box quote and so much more. We had a Telegram group that rarely went silent, due to endless ideas. Ahmad and Zaid were just good people who became my friends, in the process, they connected with some in our team.”
48 years old Zulfikar Ahmad Khan, last worked as the COO of Balaji Telefilms. Before that, he was the Managing Director of the OTT platform HOOQ and the Business Head and Chief Revenue Officer of Eros Now.
He started his career with Star India and rose to be the senior vice president of Advertising Sales where he managed several channels like Star Gold, Star Plus, National Geographic, Star Sports, and popular music outlet Channel V.
According to a close friend, Mr. Khan left Balaji Telefilms this year and was in between jobs when he went on a vacation to Kenya during the summer. He denied that Mr. Khan was involved in any other activity besides travel and tourism.
The friend of Mr. Khan said they would wait for forensic reports to confirm the claims made by Mr. Itumbi.
Earlier this month, President Ruto disbanded the Special Services Unit (SSU) under the Directorate of Criminal Investigation which was set up over two decades ago and was accused of many extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances.
which is the banding of SSU was the first big step by Mrextra-judicial Ruto's administration. won the presidential campaign by defeating former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Mr. Khan's friends have maintained that he last contacted them on July 21st and there was no communication from him thereafter.
In a Facebook post, Mr. Itumbi said that CCTV footage has shown that the vehicle that Mr. Kidwai and Mr. Khan were traveling in was stopped by vehicles that belong to the special forces unit and they were dragged away along with the car's driver.
They were held in a container for three days and were driven to the Aberdare mountain range near Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. He said the matter is still being investigated.
However, it is not yet clear why the Special Services Unit targeted Mr. Kidwai and Mr. Khan. Their friends maintain that they were not involved in local political affairs as alleged by Mr. Itumbi.
The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to comment on the claims from Mr. Itumbi though last week, they stated that India is keeping a close watch on the case.
Human rights groups have demanded for President Ruto prosecute the commanders of the unit accused of hundreds of disappearances that disbanding is not enough.