Suniel Shetty from a member of the Fight Master Association raises a serious security issue to the entertainment industry. "How do such people get a membership card into these film associations? The guy who was threatening me was using that card to make money within the industry," says Suniel, barely recovering from a prolonged bout of serious phone threats.
Not too many people who know Suniel know this. But the man of steel decided to lie low about the alleged threats by stuntman Puran Chauhan only because of his family.
Says a very close friend of the actor, "Suniel is not a man to take these threats lying down. But when the man threatened to harm his family, Suniel decided to be cautious. Everyone knows his family means the world to him. He decided to wait until the children's summer holidays, packed off his entire family for a prolonged vacation until the end of August and then decided to take on the man head-on."
When contacted Suniel, who has been shooting for Anant Mahadevan's Red Alert in the jungles admitted he was a worried man. "These kinds of threats are not new to me. The industry has been facing one sort of bullying or another since the time Gulshan Kumarji was killed."
A few years ago Suniel had received threatening calls about his father being harmed by gangsters. Says Suniel, "I had freaked out. Most people keep quiet about such threats for their family's safety. This guy was harassing and threatening me on the phone for some months now. Then when I retaliated he recorded my angry abuses and used them to threaten me further. I've already let the cops know what-all he has said and how I've retaliated. The top cop Rakesh Maria is looking into the case. He has handled the Bombay bomb blast case, so mine is very small matter for him."
Apparently pressure was put on Suniel to 'make settlements' with his tormentor. "I was being asked to settle the money that this chap says we owe him for the shooting of Joy Augustine's film for my production house Popcorn Entertainment. But there's no way I should give in. If I did, this guy would've tried his funny tricks with other producers."
In fact, Suniel has given a list of the people who were persuading him to make a compromise with the extortionist to the cops. "I'm no longer losing sleep because the cops are on the guy's trail and my family is far away and safe. Once the fear of family flies out, there's nothing to stop from taking on my tormentors," says Suniel.