Shah Rukh Khan Gets Extra Cover After Underworld Gangster Pujari’s Threat


Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who is scheduled to perform in Vancouver on September 27 as part of his SLAM tour in North America, was given extra protection after a threat from underworld gangster Ravi Pujari.

MUMBAI – Police have beefed up security at the residence and office of actor Shah Rukh Khan after fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari mentioned the actor’s name in an SMS threat issued to film producer Karim Morani and followed it up with a threat call to the actor’s office.

The threats came after three unidentified men from the Pujari gang fired three rounds outside Morani’s Juhu residence on Saturday.

Morani, seen as being close to Shah Rukh Khan, runs one of Bollywood’s biggest event management companies, Cineyug Entertainment, which organizes shows abroad for the major stars.

A police officer said the gangster wanted Shah Rukh to stage a foreign show for his friend for free. The actor is in the process of organizing shows to promote his upcoming movie abroad, and Pujari felt these shows were being handled by Morani’s company. Though Morani made it clear that his company was not involved, Pujari refused to believe him and first threatened one of Morani’s relatives before asking shooters to fire outside the producer’s home, the officer said.

After Saturday’s incident, the gangster sent an SMS threat to Morani in which he mentioned Shah Rukh’s name, sources said.

On Tuesday, Pujari called on the office number of Shah Rukh’s production house, Red Chillies Entertainments, at Santa Cruz (West), and reportedly asked the office staff to warn the actor that he should keep a distance from some Pakistan-based gangsters.

A special team has been formed under the leadership of senior police inspector of Juhu police station, Abhay Shastri, to track down the men who fired at the producer’s home. Crime branch teams too are on the lookout.

At around 11pm on Saturday, Pujari’s three associates on a motorcycle slowed down before the Morani family’s four-storey house in Juhu, shot three rounds and sped away. One bullet scraped a sedan parked outside and got lodged into a tree. The rest hit a window. Nobody was injured. The next morning, the guards noticed the graze mark on the vehicle and the crack in the window and informed Juhu police.

Morani, who was executive producer of Shah Rukh Khan’s film ‘Ra.One’ and co-produced his ‘Chennai Express,’ runs Cineyug Entertainment along with his brothers Ali and Mohammad.

Though their family business is fireworks, the Moranis became Bollywood’s leading star concert organizers in the 1980s and ’90s and enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the business until G S Entertainment run by Sohail Khan and Wizcraft came along to organize similar stage shows.

They got into film production in the mid-1980s, with Karim taking the lead in producing movies such as Yodhaa, Dushmani, Arjun and Damini featuring his classmate Sunny Deol. Their film Raja Hindustani, starring Aamir Khan, became a huge box office success, but their main source of revenue until the mid-90s continued to be their global concerts. Their luck at the box office ended in the wake of movies such as Dum featuring Vivek Oberoi and Hum Ko Tumse Pyaar Hai, which had Arjun Rampal and Bobby Deol in it.

The family, however, bounced back, and today, Karim Morani is seen as SRK’s alter ego and is currently working as co-producer on Red Chillies’ film Happy New Year. Karim’s daughter Zoa made her debut as an actress in Always Kabhi Kabhi, a film produced by Shah Rukh’s home banner in 2011.

In June 2011, Karim was sent to Tihar jail for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam. He was accused of facilitating the transfer of Rs 200 crore to DMK-run Kalaignar TV and pocketing Rs 6 crore.