Rajkumar Santoshi shocked by threat calls

July 28th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Ranbir Kapoor
By Subhash K Jha
Mumbai, July 28 (IANS) Well-known Bollywood director Rajkumar Santoshi, who has allegedly received calls from gangster Ejaz Lakdawala threatening him and demanding to be paid Rs.50 million, is baffled by the renewed extortion attempts. “I really don’t know anything about who would want to harm me. I’ve personally not received or attended to any calls. But my office has been getting such calls. Like all of us in this industry, I just do my work. I’m a total workaholic, not bothered with any kind of politics. Why would anyone want to harm me?” he asked.

“I got to know about the seriousness of the fresh threats only when the Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria spoke about it in the paper this morning. He’s a very capable cop. And if he says it’s serious, it must be,” Santoshi told IANS.

This isn’t the first time Santoshi, who made hard hitting films like “Ghayal” and “Damini”, has been threatened. In July 2007, the Lucknow police had arrested Lakdawala’s gang members who said they were on a mission to kill Santoshi and singer Himesh Reshammiya.

“A year back, I was getting similar threats. Aaj Tak had flashed it then. It’s flashing it now. I thought the threats had vanished.”

What truly shocks Santoshi is the report that a section of Bollywood is behind the threats.

“I’ve heard that people in the industry get their colleagues threatened. But I had personally never believed nor experienced it. Like I said, why would anyone want to harm me? I’m a very apolitical person. I don’t go to parties. I don’t socialise. I don’t get into any fights with anyone. My life begins with my work and ends with my family.”

Tell him it could be producers or actors whom he refused to work with, and he replies: “I don’t know, yaar. Do you think anyone can stoop so low? Though I must admit this isn’t the first time that such a thing has happened. People from the industry have got colleagues threatened. But I’m new to this.”

“It’s a very dangerous game. If the person who’s behind this is exposed, he’ll be in deep trouble. And he should be exposed. How can we co-exist in the entertainment industry if we start wishing ill for each other?”

Santoshi has filed a police complaint after which he has been provided additional security. The director says he is more worried about his family.

“To be very honest I’m worried more about my family than myself. I’ve a wife and a child. And their safety is my main concern. Otherwise I’ll continue to work normally, finish my Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif film ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani’ and go into my Sanjay Dutt project in January.”

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