Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria on Saturday admitted that he had met former IPL chairperson and controversial businessman Lalit Modi in London last year, but clarified that he had asked Mr. Modi to return to Mumbai and lodge a case in connection with underworld threats to his life.
The police chief issued a statement after news channels flashed a photograph of Mr. Maria with Mr. Modi in London and claims by latter’s lawyer that his client had been in touch with the Mumbai Police over returning to the country from the U.K.,.
Mr. Maria in a statement clarified that it was he whom the former IPL boss had contacted when the senior police officer (then posted as State Anti-Terrorism Squad chief) was in London for a conference last July.
According to the statement, he [Modi] had back then expressed concern that there was a “serious threat” to his life as he feared being targeted by the underworld. However, Mr. Maria advised him to first return to India and then lodge a formal complaint as there were jurisdictional issues involved.
“In the brief meeting as per the lawyer’s insistence, Mr. Modi sought the Mumbai Police’s help, and said he and his family were threatened by the underworld,” read the statement. Upon his return to Mumbai, Mr. Maria apprised then State Home Minister R.R. Patil and also prepared a confidential record of the same, apart from asking the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch to conduct a discreet investigation.