THE title of Nazim Hassan Rizvi's latest biopic turned out to be ironically prophetic. When the producer of the forthcoming Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (Stealthily and Silently)—starring Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta—was nabbed in a stealth operation by Mumbai police's crime branch last week, it turned out that Rizvi's labour of love had not exactly been pristine. Rizvi stood accused of allegedly plotting attacks on film stars and funnelling mob money into his film.
It was fear over Bollywood once again. Fuelling rumours that mob money and power weighed heavy in one of the world's busiest film industries was the interrogation of diamond merchant and top film financier Bharat Shah by the police over the weekend. Reports quoting crime branch sources also indicated the possible involvement of a former minister of state and a pmo official. However, Mumbai police commissioner M.N. Singh denied that any politician was linked to the case.
The fir filed against Rizvi mentions that he'd planned to kill Rakesh Roshan and his son Hrithik, and also threatened Venus Music's Ratan Jain. The police said the plan had the backing of Chhota Shakeel, the Dubai-based right-hand man of Dawood Ibrahim. The latter is living in Karachi under the protection of Pakistan's isi. Rizvi apparently also threatened Ajay Devgan to make him change the release date of his production Raju Chacha so that it didn't clash with the December 28 release of Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.
The seriousness of the police initiative has shocked the industry. The question many are now asking is: 'what's the definition of involvement? If we've made a film with a man who later turns out to be a frontman of the underworld, are we going to jail?' But in Bollywood's murky world, this is turning out to be a feeble defence. Maharasthra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal even said...