Mumbai: Producer's aide fed info to gangster for extortion

Film producer Shabana Hashmi had received threat calls from the gangster last year; the arrested worker a history-sheeter had passed on information to his handlers

The anti chain-snatching unit (ACSU) of the Mumbai Police has arrested a worker employed by Shabana Hashmi, the producer of the recently released movie Barkhaa. The worker has been arrested for allegedly giving information about Hashmi to gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, who had called the producer for extortion.

Producer Shabana Hashmi had got an extortion call from gangster Ejaz Lakdawala
Producer Shabana Hashmi had got an extortion call from gangster Ejaz Lakdawala

Hashmi had got a call on June 27, 2014, and the caller identified himself as gangster Ejaz Lakdawala. He demanded R3 crore from her. Subsequently, on July 4, 2014, Hashmi approached the Oshiwara police and registered an FIR against the gangster for extortion.

During the course of investigations, the police learnt about the involvement of a worker employed by Hashmi’s husband Abdul Rehman Safari, who undertakes construction activities and has an office at Andheri (West).
“We started following the worker, Parvez Quayyum Qureshi (45), and learnt that he was involved.

After some time he also vanished, which made our claim stronger. We then searched his house in Pune, but he was not there. On Thursday, we learnt he was coming to Mumbai and we trapped him,” said an officer from ACSU, which is responsible for arresting chain snatchers.

The squad then handed over the accused to the anti-extortion cell for further investigations. “We are trying to find out if he has given more contacts of businessmen to Ejaz Lakdawala,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson, Mumbai Police. The police said that Qureshi was earlier working for gangster Chhota Rajan and was arrested for murder and attempt to murder. Hashmi had produced Barkhaa under the banner of Zahara Production House.

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