Lalit Modi’s lawyer gets threat call by gangster Ravi Pujari

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2015 23:24 IST

After the shootout outside Bollywood producer Karim Morani 's house, gangster Ravi Pujari has allegedly targeted Mehmood Abdi, the lawyer of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. Abdi received a threat call on Sunday, from a man claiming to be Pujari.

The call comes less than a year after the firing outside Morani’s bugnalow by Pujari’s men, who had allegedly also planned to kill director Mahesh Bhatt.

On Sunday, Pujari warned Abdi against representing Modi, and told him to take down a number, on which he wanted Modi to call him.

In his written complaint to the police, Abdi said the call came on Sunday afternoon from an unknown number, and the caller claimed to be Pujari, speaking from Australia.

Telling Abdi to stop representing Modi, the caller threatened him, saying he had murdered a lawyer in Bangalore for not listening to him. Pujari added that if Abdi didn’t toe his line, he would harm him and his family.

Abdi’s complaint further states that Pujari claimed his henchmen had already conducted a reconnaissance of his residence and collected information on his family.

During the conversation, Pujari asked Abdi to take down a phone number and pass it on to Modi. When Abdi, who was driving, could not note the number, Pujari said he would call back.

“I met Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria on Monday and have sought police protection. My role in Lalit Modi’s matters is only of a legal counsel,” Abdi told HT.

After the complaint letter was given to the Oshiwara police station on Sunday, the Mumbai crime branch began a probe into the incident. The crime branch’s Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) is conducting the investigation.

“We have received the complaint and are in the process of recording Abdi’s statement. All requisite steps are being taken to keep him safe,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner and Mumbai police spokesperson.

60 pujari men held recently
* The call comes less than a year after a shootout outside producer Karim Morani’s house by Pujari’s men
* After the firing on August 23, 2014, the Mumbai crime branch conducted a crackdown on the gangster’s network in Mumbai
* With the initial arrests, a plan of bumping off movie producer-director Mahesh Bhatt was unearthed. More than 60 of his alleged henchmen were arrested in separate cases, with most arrested from Dombivli, where Pujari had lived in his early years
* Pujari is now wanted in the Morani and Bhatt cases, apart from other crimes.

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