Lalit Modi cited threat to son's life for avoiding India

Probe agencies refused to buy claim

Lalit Modi cited threat to son's life for avoiding India

Controversial IPL ex-chief Lalit Modi had cited a heightened threat perception to his son’s life as one of the reasons to avoid travelling to India.

In a letter to the Mumbai Police, Modi had sought personnel armed with weapons more lethal than a 9mm pistol for his son’s security. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), however, questioned his claims of “elevated” security threat to stay away from India though he carried on with his IPL duties despite threat emails from the “underworld” before he left for Britain. The probe agencies from ED to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had issued several summons to Modi to appear before them in the past five years.

The letters to Mumbai Police and responses to summons and show-cause notices, which were posted in his official website, cited an email from the underworld, intercepts by the police and media reports about it.

In two letters he wrote to the Mumbai Police within two weeks of leaving India in May 2010, Modi wanted the police to restore his son’s security, which was withdrawn.

The first letter came on May 23, 2010, and he said soon after the security withdrawal on May 21, his son’s car was tailed. He then narrated a “Bollywood style” tale on how his men saved his son by block the tailing vehicle with a car.

The second letter thanks the police for restoring security but goes on to express concern over the police protection provided to his son by a personnel “who is armed with a 9mm weapon” for 12 hours.

“I would be grateful if you could provide him with police protection 24X7 who is armed with carbine weapon if possible,” he wrote.
Another letter showed that security was provided to his family when they went out of Mumbai. Modi also wanted to import a “bullet proof car” and obtained a “no objection certificate” from the police within four days.

Modi had also written to then Maharashtra home minister Jayant Patil after authorities refused him permission to use 100 per cent sun film on his vehicle.

Though he tagged such letters in his responses to agencies, the ED was not impressed and its officer wrote on record that Modi had not furnished any evidence of any threat perception for seeking recusal from personal appearance and staying abroad.

He had left India on May 13, 2010 soon after he was engulfed in the controversy related to corruption. At that time, no agencies had issued notices against him from travelling abroad and he made use of this opportunity.

Modi continued to argue that he was counselled not to travel to India but the ED noted that he did not provide the names of persons who advised him so.
Interestingly, the ED said, Modi made several public appearances and participated in crowded functions in connection with IPL in 2010 April though he had received an email threat on October 14, 2009.

The agency goes on to say that the threat perception did not come in the way of his hectic schedule.


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