The Preity-Ness controversy got murkier Wednesday as the Wadia Group claimed it had received threats from an underworld don warning ‘harm’ to its business interests if actor Preity Zinta was harassed.
An SMS was also sent to the personal assistant of Bombay Dyeing owner and textile magnate Nusli Wadia — Ness Wadia’s father.
Mumbai crime branch sources said the SMS told the Wadias not to trouble Zinta, else their business would be in trouble. It contained many abusive words and the sender identified himself as ‘Ravi Pujari’ at the end of the message.
Pujari was a gangster once closely related with Chhota Rajan — former key aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said, “Five calls and one SMS were exchanged. The SMS was sent from an Iranian SIM card. We are now trying to ascertain the real identity of the caller.”
An inquiry has been launched by the anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai crime branch though a case has not been registered yet. An offence under section 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC may be registered.
HT contacted Zinta’s lawyer Hitesh Jain who refused to comment on the development.
Actor and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab had registered a complaint against her former boyfriend Ness Wadia – who also co-owns KXIP -- alleging he had molested and abused her on May 30 during an IPL match at Wankhede stadium.
The Bombay Dyeing group scion has rejected her charges as “false and baseless”.