'Stalker' wife smells revenge by actress dad

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By RASHEED KIDWAI in Bhopal
  • Published 27.08.08
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Bhopal, Aug. 27: The arrest of Priyanka Chopra’s former secretary has raised the question whether he is an obsessed lover, stalker or a target of the actress’s father.

Sources close to Priyanka say the action against Prakash Jaju, picked up from Mhow yesterday and taken to Mumbai for allegedly sending her obscene messages, has put an end to a seemingly endless ordeal for the actress.

According to one of Priyanka’s close associates, Jaju’s single-minded obsession with her had almost become a way of life for the actress. “She had begun to think of Jaju’s intrusions into her life as a terminal illness one learns to live with. It was not an acceptance of victimisation, just her way of dealing with the situation,” said the associate.

Jaju’s family denies the allegations. Wife Neeta said the arrest was Priyanka’s father Ashok’s way of “settling scores”.

“He (Ashok) had to come to Indore to secure bail and, perhaps, seek revenge for what he had perceived as humiliation. I am stunned by the dramatic course of events as the dispute between Prakash and Priyanka was amicably settled last year,” she said, taking care not to blame the actress for the recent differences.

Ashok had come to Indore to get anticipatory bail in a cheating case Jaju had filed against the Chopras, accusing them of holding back “Rs 1 crore” in service fee, besides other perks.

In September last year, producer Sajid Nadiadwala brokered peace between the two sides. Priyanka had starred in Nadiadwala’s 2004 blockbuster Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.

A spokesperson for the actress told this correspondent then that “all pending issues with regard to Prakash have been settled amicably between both parties”.

Now, the Priyanka camp insists that Jaju continued to smother the actress with lewd text messages, which forced her to change numbers frequently. That didn’t work as Jaju discovered the new numbers within hours of her changing to them. According to the associate of the actress, his first message to a new number would usually taunt Priyanka about trying to fool him.

Even in those tense times, Priyanka would pass off the trouble as a joke. “Those messages are worth an international prize for their picturesque language,” she was said to have told friends once.

Another Priyanka friend said after Jaju’s arrest, the actress “is neither happy nor relieved. She just feels sorry for him.”

The Priyanka-Jaju tiff has an underworld connection, too. Some of the actress’s friends say the arrest has come at a time when she is has received threats from unidentified sources.

Some of these friends suspect that gangster Bunty Pandey, who has allegedly been threatening Bollywood celebrities, might have links with Jaju. Pandey is known to have a strong base in Madhya Pradesh.

Priyanka’s association with Jaju dates back to 2002, when she had joined the film industry. Even her associates say Jaju got her plum assignments. His interference began to rankle her around the release of Andaaz in 2003.

Jaju was sacked later, and he went to court against the father and daughter accusing them of cheating him. He also alleged that they had employed gangster Chhota Shakeel to threaten him. But Madhya Pradesh High Court cleared the Chopras of the charge.