Pay Rs.5 mn or see house blown up, Dhoni told (Lead)

December 31st, 2008 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Dec 31 (IANS) Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was provided the highest “Z category” security cover by the Jharkhand government after his family was sent a threatening letter, Wednesday received another threat to blow up his house here unless he pays a gangster Rs.5 million.Ranchi Superintendent of Police Richard Lakra told IANS: “Dhoni has received another threatening letter.”

According to sources close to the cricketer’s family, the letter says: “Do not approach the police. We will blow up your house. In the past we killed a contractor who refused to pay levy.”

Police officials said Dhoni’s family received an extortion letter Monday. The letter, allegedly sent by gangster Taslim, who claims to be a close associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, stated that the Indian skipper’s family will face dire consequences if he does not pay Rs.5 million.

The family handed over the letter to police here Tuesday night. Soon after, Dhoni’s security was beefed up.

“Dhoni has been provided Z category security,” said police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan.

The cricketer, who earlier had “Y category” security cover - the second most stringent category - is now being guarded by 45 security personnel. He arrived here Tuesday.

Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Sampant Meena told reporters: “Taslim, whose name is mentioned in the first letter, has a criminal background. At present, he is not in Ranchi. We have constituted a team to investigate the case.”

The investigation team is led by Hatia Assistant Superintendent of Police A. Vijay Laxmi.

When Dhoni was last in Ranchi, he was not happy with his constricting security cover and travelled from his home to the airport without any bodyguards.

However, with renewed concern about his security, Dhoni has applied for a prohibited bore (PB) arms licence. He already has a non-PB licence.

According to sources close to his family, Dhoni plans to buy a 9 mm pistol after obtaining the licence. The PB licence is issued only in special circumstances by the central home ministry.

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