Mumbai: A 21-year-old actor who starred in Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire was arrested for allegedly extorting money and threatening to kill a casting director by posing as brother of underworld don Chhota Shakeel, police said on Monday.
The victim, who is also production-head of Ramanand Sagar production, was threatened by the accused over phone, seeking roles in his serials, they said.
The actor, identified as Ajit Pandey, had played a character called 'Javed Goon' in the Oscar winning movie. He has also acted in several serials.
Introducing himself as Irfan Husri, brother of Chhota Shakeel, he threatened the victim to give roles to his friend Ajit Pandey. However, police probe revealed that it was Pandey, who made threatening calls in the name of Husri.
"On May 24, Pandey phoned the victim introducing himself as Husri. He said that he is a brother of Chhota Shakeel and told the victim to provide good roles to actor Pandey, who is his close aide," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.
The officer said the accused told the victim that Pandey had once worked with Shakeel's gang but now he wanted live a normal life.
He was produced before a local court which remanded him to police custody till June 27.
"However, the victim did not pay heed to threatening calls following which Husri demanded Rs 20 lakh," Maria said, adding that the accused also threatened to kill the director if he failed to pay the money.
During the investigation, Maria said, police found that the SIM card, which the accused was using, had been purchased from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and subsequently it was revealed that Pandey was involved in the crime, he said.
A trap was laid and Pandey was arrested from suburban Bhayandar. He was later charged under Sections 384 (Extortion) and 506(2) (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, Maria said.
"The motive of the accused was to get more roles. He thought that if he takes Shakeel's name, the victim would give him good roles," he said.
The accused has acted in several serials, including Sarthi, O Darling Ye Hai India and Jai Hanuman.