the underworld has now focused its attention on Bollywood again. On Thursday afternoon, Sushama Shiromanee, senior vice-president of the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA) received a call from don Ravi Pujari who allegedly threatened to kill her if she did not withdraw from elections to the film body. Election for the presidentship of IMPPA is scheduled to be held on September 28.
Shiromanee said, "A little past noon, I received a call from a person who identified himself as Ravi Pujari. It was an international call and Pujari said he was calling from Australia. He threatened to kill me if I contest the election. I have lodged a complaint at Khar police station.'' According to her, she had received a similar call last week, called on home minister R R Patil and submitted a written complaint to him. "He had directed the Khar police to take necessary action.''
"I recorded Pujari's call when he contacted me on Thursday. I am contesting against present president T P Agarwal. I am shocked that he could stoop so low,'' she added. Agarwal said "I don't know anything. My name is being unnecessarily dragged into this.'' His friend and IMPPA committee member Ashok Pandit said "Agarwal has no links with the underworld. He is not only a producer, but even an educationist.''
A senior police official said the call which Shiromanee received last week was traced to a PCO near a chemist shop at Sion. "Pujari is believed to be based abroad. We are surprised that his call came from a PCO at Sion. We will inquire into the complaint and take stringent action,'' he added. Amitabh Gupta, additional commissioner (west), said "We are making inquiries.''
This is the second call made to Bollywood in the recent past. Pujari called up actor Suresh Oberoi and his star son Vivek Oberoi to threaten them. In the past, Chhota Shakeel and Abu Salem have extorted crores of rupees from Bollywood personalities.