Mahesh Bhatt denies threatening calls from gangster

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Mumbai, Nov 26 (UNI) Film producer Mahesh Bhatt today denied, in his cross examination in a special court here, that the person who had threatened him over telephone last year had identified himself as gangster Ravi Poojari.

On June 14, 2006, an unidentified person had fired indiscriminately in Mahesh Bhatt's office. Thereafter, when Bhatt reached his office he had received a telephone call, where the caller had allegedly identified himself as gangster Ravi Poojari and had threatened the Bollywood producer with dire consequences if did not budge to his demand for a certain extortion amount.

Five people were arrested in this connection by the crime branch and Bhatt today deposed in a related case before MCOCA special judge Mridula Bhatkar. During cross examination conducted by a defence lawyer, Bhatt admitted the caller had not identified himself as Ravi Poojari and it was his own conclusion that the person might have been Poojari as he had heard the voice on a telephonic interview of Poojari, run by a news channel on the same day was matching with his caller's.

But, when the same tape of interview was today run in the court.

Bhatt again reiterated that the voice was same as that of his caller's. He said after the incident everyone was whispering the name of Poojari in office as well as outside and that was the reason he too declared the name of Poojari.

Five accused namely Santosh Poojari, Ramesh Kanojia, Arvind Devadia, Nityanand Shetty and Sampat Kotian were arrested in the case.

All of them were initially arrested for threatening a Ghatkopar Hotel owner for extortion amount and later in the interrogation their role in threatening the Bollywood producer came to light.


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