Man opens fire outside Bhatt office

Bollywood helmer not there, nobody hurt

NEW DELHI — An unidentified gunman opened fire Wednesday outside the office of Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt, who helmed a gangster movie earlier in the year, police said.

The man entered Bhatt’s office in Mumbai, the center of India’s Hindi-language film industry, and asked his whereabouts. When told Bhatt was not there, he walked outside and fired a shot in the air before fleeing on a motorcycle. Nobody was hurt.

Bhatt, known for his strong views on social, moral and political issues and the man behind some of Bollywood’s biggest hits — including “Sir” in 1993 and “Arth” (The Meaning) in 1982 — was not in the office at the time of the shooting.

The 56-year-old director said it was not clear if the incident was linked to Mumbai’s underworld, which in the past has notoriously targeted the industry for extortion.

Private television station NDTV reported police were working on the theory that a small-time extortion gang was behind the threat.

Bhatt’s company earlier this year was embroiled in a legal dispute after he made a film called “Gangster,” which a suspected Indian underworld boss claimed was based on his life.

The case was later dropped, and the film was released on general circuit.

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