Police have arrested a 23-year-old man for allegedly threatened Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit and demanded extortion money.
Praveenkumar Pradhan, a waiter by profession who threatened to kill the Madhuri's children and claimed to have links with the underworld, was arrested on Wednesday. The mobile phone he used to send offensive messages has also been recovered, police said. "The accused was today produced before a court which remanded him in police custody till tomorrow," said Sunil Ghosalkar, Senior Inspector at Cyber Police Station in suburban Bandra.
According to police, Madhuri's personal assistant on November 28 approached the cyber cell alleging she had received four threatening text messages on her mobile phone from an unidentified person at about 3 AM on November 25. "The messages were addressed to Madhuri Dixit and the sender threatened to kill her children," said another officer. More threat messages were sent on her phone in the next three days. "In one of the messages, Pradhan claimed he was associated with the gang of underworld don Chhota Rajan.
The accused said he had trained a 15-year-old boy in handling weapons and bombs and this teenager would barge into Dixit's home to extort money," said the officer, who did not wish to be named.
The leads collected during the probe took police to Pradhan, who was picked up and questioned. Pradhan, who works in a restaurant, has confessed to the crime, police said. He told interrogators he would have demanded the exact amount he needed if either Madhuri or her PA would have made phone calls to him, police said.
Police were verifying if he was actually associated with any organised criminal gang or was simply bragging. The accused claimed to have made threatening phone calls to some film personalities in the past, police said, adding further probe was on.