Saturday, June 21, 2014

Security Cover For Two Group Staffers



Gangster made four more calls on Friday: Wadias 

 





Mumbai: Three days after gangster Ravi Pujari allegedly called up the Wadias asking them not to “harass” actor Preity Zinta, the Wadia Group lodged a fresh complaint saying it had got four more calls from the same number. 
The office of Nusli Wadia complained to the anti-extortion cell of the crime branch of Mumbai police, which is probing the earlier threat calls, that they first received calls on the office phone on Friday. As the staffers did not pick up the line after having identified the number, more calls were made on the mobile phone of Wadia’s personal secretary. These, too, were not picked.
Police commissioner Rakesh Maria said the police have decided to provide security cover to two staffers belonging to the Wadia Group in the wake of the calls. Police have already deployed two armed constables each outside the Wadia office and residence.

Maria had said on Wednesday that the number from which the threat was issued was from Iran and that the call was made using VOIP (voice over internet protocol, a technology that allows calls over the internet). The crime branch is now probing why the fresh calls have been made and how Pujari may have got access to the various Wadia Group numbers. Pujari, who split from the Chhota Rajan
gang, is believed to be holed up in Australia and is wanted in Mumbai and Mangalore in over three dozen cases, mostly related to extortion. 
The anti-extortion cell on Friday also recorded the statements of two Wadia Group staffers in connection with the earlier calls. On Tuesday, the group had complained saying a caller who identified himself as Ravi Pujari had warned it against “harassing” Zinta and had also issued a threat via SMS.
Meanwhile, the Marine Drive police probing the case that Zinta filed last Friday against industrialist Ness Wadia have recorded the statements of seven witnesses. Zinta had alleged that Wadia had abused, threatened and humiliated her at the Garware Pavilion at Wankhede stadium during an IPL match on May 30.

Zonal DCP Ravindra Shisve said IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal had told the police he would give his statement next week as he was slated to go to Australia. Zinta, who flew to the US a day after lodging her complaint, is scheduled to return to Mumbai on Saturday.

Shisve said the police would decide their next course of action after recording her statement and weighing the evidence. Wadia has consulted advocate Mrinalini Deshmukh to understand the legalities better in the charges levelled against him. The advocate admitted the Wadia Group had got in touch with her.
(With inputs from Swati Deshpande)



The Times of India, June 21, 2014

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