STOP PRESS: Extortion bid on celebrity publicist foiled by Police

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Bollywood PR specialist Dale Bhagwagar, who has been associated with celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra, Esha Deol, Randeep Hooda and Vivek Oberoi, received a threatening extortion call this week.

According to a complaint registered at the Oshiwara Police Station, an unknown caller who identified himself as “SK”, demanded Rs 4.5 lakh from Bhagwagar. The Police traced the call to one Mr Faheem Khan, who was summoned to the Police Station.

It was revealed that the caller worked for a public limited food manufacturing company, which is said to be having the patronage of the chief of a national political party. Khan confessed to the Police, he had made the call on behalf of the company’s chairman, who Bhagwagar remembers as being introduced to him two years ago by one of his earlier PR clients, actress Bhairavi Goswami (of Bheja Fry and My Friend Ganesha fame) as her “boyfriend”.

“When I first received the call on my mobile late in the night, I thought someone was playing a prank. However, I soon realised, the caller was actually trying to extort money by threatening me of dire consequences, so I reported the matter to the Police,” said Bhagwagar.

On being asked about the identity of the ‘company’ in question, its ‘chairman’ and the ‘politician’ behind the scenes, the publicist said, “I’m in the business of creating goodwill, protecting images and reputations. Since my ex-client Bhairavi Goswami’s name has come up in the matter, I would prefer not to take this issue any further at this stage, unless it becomes necessary.”

Meanwhile, a non-cognisable offence (NC Number 4680108, Sections 504, 506 IPC) has been registered and the Police has warned the caller from contacting Bhagwagar in future.

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