Life is very tough for Monica Bedi

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Mumbai, Sep 2 (UNI) Monica Bedi, ex-girl friend of Abu Salem, extradited underworld don and one of the prime accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts, has said life is very tough for her owing to her nexus with the don.

In an interview to Showtime magazine, Ms Bedi said ''unknowingly I had made a big mistake, and when I came to know about Salem's past, it was not possible for me to come out from there.'' After coming out of jail in the fake passport case, she thought people of Mumbai would accept her, but that was not the case as people passed taunts whenever she passed by. She wanted to forget her past.

On her life in Bollywood, Ms Bedi said she had come down to India on a holiday from Norway and decided to learn 'Kathak' dance. She joined Gopi Kishan's classes and thereafter she started getting offers from Bollywood. At the age of 17 years, she got the first offer from Manoj Kumar.

Suddenly in 2001, she vanished from the film industry.

Asked about that, she said ''One fine day, I got a call from a person in Dubai saying he was organising a show where he wanted me to perform. I said okay. He said he would get back to me after all the formalities were done. Then, a few days later, he called up again and we talked for some time. A couple of days later, he called again.

I began getting friendly with him over the phone. At that time, he had introduced himself as Arsalan Ali - that's the false identity he used often. I didn't know he was Abu Salem.'' ''Salem continued to hide his real identity from me. I visited Dubai twice. At that time, I stayed with him for two-three days and then flew back to Mumbai. Whenever I would ask him to come to Mumbai, he would give me some excuse.

Finally, he disclosed his real identity to me, saying his real name was Abu Salem and that he had a past. He said he wanted to change all that and start afresh. By that time, we were in love with each other. '' Monica wanted to return to India but Salem never allowed her, as he feared that the police might get hold of her. Eventually, they were caught in Portugal in the fake passport case.

UNI ST SSS RP HT1650

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