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Nanda driver's bro receiving threat calls

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2010 21:52 IST

IANS
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The brother of prominent industrialist Anil Nanda's driver, who died of burn injuries earlier this week, on Saturday claimed he was receiving threat calls from the businessman's associates.

The allegation came on a day when police began verifying the call records of Nanda and his associates as part of investigations into the suspicious death of his driver, Janeshwar Sharma.

Sharma, in his dying statement, accused Nanda and his aides of setting him on fire after he protested their alleged sexual exploitation of boys.

Sharma's brother Yogesh told IANS that he has been receiving threatening calls since he appeared before media to expose them.

Yogesh said he received the first threat call at 6.45 p.m. Friday.

"The caller told me not to speak to media or leak anything about the case. He threatened that if I continue with the case, I and my family would not be safe," he added.

Yogesh alleged that the mobile number belongs to one of the accused, Dheeraj Balani, who along with Nanda and Jitender Pandey, killed his brother.

The victim's brother informed police about the threat, which he also allegedly received Saturday morning from the same number. "The person said he was just advising me not to pursue the case in such a way and to think about it," Yogesh claimed.

Sharma, 45, was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital June 9 with 80 percent burns. He died June 15. Although a case of murder was registered by police, no one has been arrested in the case so far. In his dying declaration, the former armyman made the allegations against Nanda.

Meanwhile, unhappy with the slow progress of the probe and alleging that police were trying to save the accused, the victim's family is planning to approach the courts for redressal.

Police said they are thoroughly investigating the matter. "We questioned Nanda and his associates Friday, and since this morning we are verifying all the calls made by them or to them," a police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Police have also sought a CD from the CNN-IBN news channel, which telecast a badly burnt Sharma making the allegations against Nanda and others from his hospital bed. "We will be going through the CD also. We have so far questioned more than 20 people," they said.

Sharma family's counsel Sudhir Kumar told IANS that they are planning to file a writ petition against the industrialist and his associates and police in the Delhi High Court. "We are in the process of preparing the petition and would file it in the court by next week," he said.

"As the police have failed to take action on time and are trying to save the accused, we have no option but to knock on the doors of the court," he added.

In his dying declaration, Sharma had alleged that Nanda along with his business partner Pandey and manager Balani set him on fire when he protested against the sexual exploitation of boys at Nanda's New Friends Colony residence. The deceased was working for over two years at Nanda's C-12 New Friends Colony house.

After keeping silent on the matter for three days, police swung into action after the channel Thursday showed the dying driver making the allegations and after the National Human Rights Commission asked police to submit a report on the matter.

Anil Nanda is the younger brother of Rajan Nanda, who owns Escorts Hospital. Rajan is married to Ritu, the eldest daughter of the late filmmaker Raj Kapoor. Their son Nikhil Nanda is married to Shweta, the daughter of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan.

Anil Nanda is the chairman of Akme Projects which has various projects in the national capital and also in Ludhiana, Goa and Bangalore.