A 24-year-old was arrested on Thursday for trying to extort money from filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and threatening to kill his daughter Alia Bhatt and wife Soni Razdan.
The accused had demanded a sum of Rs 50 lakh from the director and asked him deposit the money in a Lucknow-based bank branch. He threatened to kill Bhatt’s wife and daughter if the latter failed to meet his demand.
News Agency ANI confirmed that Bhatt filed a complaint at Juhu Police station after receiving the death threat on call.
Bhatt received the call for the first time on February 26, but he ignored it thinking someone was playing a prank.
The caller, however, remained adamant and pressed for his demands in a series of texts and WhatsApp messages. The extortionist, claiming to be a gang leader, threatened to shoot and kill Alia and Soni if his demands were not met.
Fearing for his family’s safety, Bhatt approached Juhu Police station on Wednesday, where a case against the unidentified accused was registered under section 387 (causing a person to fear death or grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Anti-Extortion Cell of Mumbai Crime Branch started investigating the case and managed to trace the caller to Uttar Pradesh. Based on intel, UP Police arrested the accused, Sandeep Sahu, in connection with making the threat calls earlier today.
A Mumbai police team has already been dispatched to UP to take custody of Sahu. He will be questioned about the calls in detail after he reaches Mumbai.
Bhatt also took to Twitter earlier today to express his gratitude towards both Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra police for thwarting the extortion attempt.
A bolt from the blue in the form of an extortion call & threat to my family was nipped in the bud by the MH & UP police in tandem.Gratitude!
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) March 2, 2017
Back in November 2014, a group of 13 people were arrested for plotting to murder the filmmaker.