City mobile gallery employee held for threat calls to Pooja Bhatt


A mobile service centre employee in Pune was arrested Saturday for allegedly making threat calls to actress-producer Pooja Bhatt earlier this week.

After Bhatt lodged a complaint at Bandra Police Station on Wednesday, a team was sent to Pune and Ashish Swarnakar (28), a native of Udgir in Latur, was arrested on Saturday.

He produced before a magistrate in Bandra, who remanded him in judicial custody.

Police said Swarnakar lived in Viman Nagar and had taken phone numbers of Pooja and her filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt from neighbour Dhruv, who is a music composer.

Pooja called Mahesh Tuesday night to inform of the harassment. Mahesh later found a missed call from the same number to his cellphone as well.

Swarnakar has been booked under IPC sections 507 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting modesty of a woman).

Police said he kept changing locations and switched off his phone several times as they tried to track the number from which Pooja and Mahesh had received calls.

"He has no criminal record and we are checking if had made similar calls to other celebrities," said Abhay Shastri, senior inspector at Bandra Police Station.

Vodafone denied Swarnakar was its employee. "It has been alleged the caller was a Vodafone empoyee by the name Ashish Swarnakar and phone number 8308984111. Vodafone India categorically denies this person is on its payroll," a company statement said.

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