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January 21, 2000
Rakesh Roshan shot at
Jake Khan, Savera R Someshwar, Kanchana Suggu at the Nanavati hospital in Bombay
Actor-turned-director Rakesh Roshan was shot at near his office on Tilak Road at Santacruz West in Bombay on Friday evening.
Two unidentified assailants, who lay in wait for him outside his office, fired two bullets at him, one of which hit him on the left arm while the other grazed his chest. As the director fell to the ground, the assailants fled the scene.
Roshan, who recovered from the shock quickly, got into his car and drove to the Santacruz police station. The police then accompanied him to the Nanavati Hospital, located in the same area, where Dr Sharad Pandey, father of Bollywood actor Chunky Pandey, successfully operated on him to remove the bullet. The operation took about an hour.
Producer J Om Prakash, Roshan's father-in-law, confirmed that his son-in-law had been hit in the arm, while a bullet grazed his chest. "The operation was successful, and he is out of danger. The doctors have told us he can go home tomorrow," J Om Prakash said.
Hrithik Roshan, who was launched by his father last week in the well-received Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, was overheard telling friends, that "over a hundred" people watched the assailants fire at his father, and that "it had not sunk in because everyone is here." Hrithik has now been given police protection. An armed constable was seen following him everywhere in the hospital.
Roshan's driver was also hurt in the incident, but is out of danger.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Madhukar Ghoparde said the director had not been at the receiving end of extortion threats, and had not lodged any complaint in this regard.
However, Crime Branch sources said Roshan had in fact received extortion threats in 1998 from the Ali Budeshi gang which he had brushed aside. The sources also hinted at the possibility of the Abu Salem gang being behind Friday's attack on the actor.
The police had virtually taken over the hospital, and men in khaki could be seen everywhere. Among those who visited the hospital were Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Kripa Shankar Singh and Bollywood personalities Anu Malik, Dimple Kapadia, producer Prakash Mehra, Rishi Kapoor, Suhail Khan, producer Bunty Walia and actor-producer Sujit Kumar.
Actors Mohnish Bahl and Salman Khan, directors Rahul Rawail and Vidhu Vinod Chopra joined Kapadia and Mehra briefly in the waiting room outside the ward while Roshan was being operated upon. A large crowd of star-gazers, including patients admitted to the hospital, joined the movie folk. Brother and composer Rajesh Roshan, actress Amisha Patel, who made her debut in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Kishan Kumar, whose brother T-Series mogul Gulshan Kumar was slain by gangsters 18 months ago, superstar Shah Rukh Khan (who acted in Roshan's Karan Arjun), actor Amrish Puri, directors Yash Chopra and Karan Johar were also present.
Hrithik looked calm and composed, as he and his fiancee Suzanne Khan (Sanjay Khan's daughter) reassured their star well-wishers that "he is okay."
Kripa Shankar Singh told rediff.com that the director had not received any threats from gangsters. He also refused to speculate on the assailants' identity, but assured this correspondent that they would be arrested by tonight.
Police officers said a dragnet was already in place, and that it was only a question of time before the assailants were arrested.
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