Bollywood’s liaison with the underworld is an open secret, dating back to the ’70s when two dons were seen hobnobbing with a veteran star at film events.

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan was given extra security after he allegedly received a threat call from underworld don, Ravi Pujari prior to the release of Happy New Year. He is also said to have purchased a bombproof car following the phone call. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The mafia’s involvement in tinseltown grew deeper when it supposedly started resolving financial disputes between producers and financiers, and later between filmmakers and actors. Periodic reports of threat calls, extortions and firing have since followed, robbing the industry of its peace.

Mahesh Bhatt was apparently on the underworld’s hit-list, too
Mahesh Bhatt was apparently on the underworld’s hit-list, too

During the ’90s, underworld activity was at its peak, keeping the Mumbai police on its toes. However, gradually, the mafia was said to be losing its hold over the film industry.

But, going by the recent threat calls and foiled attacks on Bollywood A-listers, the dreaded underworld appears to be rearing its head. On November 15, police arrested seven persons from Khar for allegedly planning an attack on Mahesh Bhatt and seized three pistols and 15 bullets from them.

Police interrogation revealed that they had been directed by an overseas gangster to attack the filmmaker. hitlist rewinds to some recent as well as old episodes of this dangerous nexus between B-Town and U-World