Extortion threats to Director Prakash Jha

Mumbai: Noted Bollywood producer-director Prakash Jha has lodged an FIR here alleging that two New York based filmmakers were trying to extort Rs 2-3 crore from him besides threatening to kill him over a movie dispute, police said today.

According to Jha`s complaint, two filmmakers — Pramod Bhanti and Devendra Singh — both NRIs based in New York, sent him threatening e-mails and made phone calls demanding Rs 2-3 crores in cash following a dispute over a film, Rajendra Kane, Assistant police inspector at Amboli police station told PTI.

An FIR was registered under section 384 (Punishment for extortion) and 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy)against the two NRIs last night after his complaint, Kane said.

Jha alongwith the two accused had planned a film venture in 2004 for which the director had even written a script. But things did not somehow work.

"Jha claimed that he was paid 50,000 dollars (Rs 24.59 lakh) but he returned the amount after the project did not work out. For the past 2-3 months, he has been receiving e-mails and phone calls saying that he should shell out Rs 2-3 crores in cash and if he does not do so, he will be killed," Kane added.

Police said that a friend of Jha in New York was also threatened by the two.

The director`s last release `Aarakshan` had landed in a row for its alleged anti-reservation stand.