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Extort call at SRK office

- COPS BEEF UP ACTOR’S SECURITY

Mumbai, Aug. 26: Mumbai police have increased Shah Rukh Khan’s security following an extortion call by a person claiming to be underworld don Ravi Pujari and firing outside the home of a producer who is a business associate of the actor.

“Pujari called Shah Rukh’s office yesterday and asked him not to keep relations with (producer) Karim Morani. SRK was not there. His staff took the call,” said a crime branch officer.

A source close to SRK claimed the caller demanded “protection money” for the actor’s Diwali release Happy New Year (HNY).

The alleged incidents come just over two months after Pujari, blamed for threats to other stars earlier, was accused of calling industrialist Nusli Wadia’s office and asking his son Ness to stop harassing Preity Zinta. The actress has filed a harassment case against Ness.

“Yash Raj Films has paid Rs 125 crore for HNY’s worldwide distribution rights. The satellite rights were sold to Zee for Rs 65 crore. T-Series paid Rs 12 crore for the music rights. The man who called SRK wants some of that,” said an official of Red Chillies, Shah Rukh and wife Gauri’s production company.

“Shah Rukh already had protection, we have just beefed it up a bit more,” said another police officer.

Karim, who spent a few months in jail as a 2G scam accused, is planning the publicity of HNY, directed by Farah Khan and co-starring Deepika Padukone. A part of the blitz is a series of promotional tours titled “Slam!” by the cast.

Sources in Red Chillies, which is producing HNY, said the rights to the shows had been sold to Karim and his brother Ali for Rs 200 crore. The police said Pujari had asked Karim to organise some shows in the US, but the producer refused. Three bike-borne men had fired in the air outside the Moranis’ home on Saturday night.