Mumbai: In a new twist to the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia episode, the Wadia group has filed a police complaint claiming they received threatening calls and a text message from an underworld don warning that their “business will be in trouble” if the actress was harassed.
A secretary to industrialist Nusli Wadia received calls on his cell phone from a person, who claimed to be fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari, on Monday and filed a complaint with N M Joshi Marg police station yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil said.
“Don’t run around Preity Zinta. Give my message to Wadia. Otherwise his business will be in trouble,” said a text message quoted by Patil which was allegedly received by Nusli Wadia’s aide from the gangster, said to be living abroad.
The Secretary’s name has been withheld by the police. Patil did not clarify if the phone belonged to the secretary or one of the members of Wadia family.
The complaint has now been transferred to the anti-extortion cell of the crime branch to ascertain the veracity of the caller’s claim of being Ravi Pujari and from where it was made.
Nusli Wadia’s elder son Ness is locked in a bitter feud with Zinta, his former girlfriend, who has accused him of abuse and molestation during an IPL cricket match on May 30 in full public view, a charge the Bombay Dyeing group scion has rejected as “false and baseless”.
Marine Drive police is probing the case filed under various sections of IPC on the basis of a written complaint by Zinta last Thursday.
The two had ended their courtship a few years ago, but continued to co-own IPL team Kings XI Punjab along with some others. No Wadia group spokesperson was immediately available for comment.
Police is attempting to probe links between the threat calls and the ongoing investigation into the molestation allegations by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta against Ness Wadia.
The 39-year-old actress had filed a police complaint on Thursday night alleging that she was molested by Wadia (44) inside Wankhede stadium on May 30 when an IPL match was played between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings.
Zinta and Wadia had broken off their five-year-long relationship a couple of years back but continued to share business interest.
Several players of IPL team Kings XI Punjab, of which Zinta is a co-owner with Wadia, its support staff, and officials of Wankhede Stadium were reported to have been present when the alleged incident took place.
Based on Zinta’s written complaint, Marine Drive police have registered an FIR against Wadia under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
Meanwhile, Ness has rejected Zinta’s claims and said he was shocked by the allegations and termed them as ‘false and baseless’.