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When the underworld had a vice-like grip on Bollywood

In the 1990s, the underworld in Mumbai (then Bombay) was creating havoc in the city. Bollywood wasn't unaffected by it. Film personalities getting threat calls were a usual affair. Here are some of the instances where the terror hit home for film stars, directors, or producers.

1) Gulshan Kumar - The head honcho of T-Series, India's biggest cassette maker at that time, was riding on the wave of success. He then started getting extortion calls from gangster Abu Salem, which Gulshan ignored. In the book 'I Am Abu Salem', Hussain Zaidi has mentioned how Salem then orchestrated a plan to teach Gulshan a lesson. Gulshan was shot dead on 12 August 1997 by Salem's goons.

2) Rakesh Roshan - Roshan's directorial venture 'Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai', which launched Hrithik Roshan, met with roaring success. The D-Company got a whiff of it and then demanded a share from the film's profit. Roshan was shot from a point-blank range outside his office with two bullets. Luckily, he survived. In an interview, Rakesh had said the person who shot at him was a 15-16-year-old boy whose hands were shaking.

3) Karan Johar - Right before the premiere of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', Karan's mother Hiroo Johar got a call from Abu Salem who said: "Your son is wearing a red T-shirt. I can see him right now. And we’re going to shoot him if you release this film on Friday." Later, film was released on time but Karan couldn't attend the premiere due to the looming threat. He was kept in a small room with security guards. On the same night, Karan left with his family for London and stayed there for a month.


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