KOCHI: In a scene right out of a movie, bike-borne miscreants opened fire allegedly at a beauty parlour owned by actor Leena Maria Paul in broad daylight in the city's upscale Panampilly Nagar, triggering panic among the local residents.
There were no casualties in the incident occurred around 2.30 pm on Saturday. While leaving the spot, a gang member left a paper with the name 'Ravi Poojari' written on it.
According to eyewitnesses, two masked men arrived in front of the building on a motorcycle from Panampilly Nagar side and the pillion rider rushed to the staircase leading to a dental clinic and 'The Nail Artistry' owned by the actor.
"On seeing the security staff, he brandished an air pistol and returned. While leaving the spot, he fired in the air. As he rushed back to his accomplice waiting outside, the miscreant left the paper," said Rashlin, a staff at the shop on the ground floor of the building.
The police reached the spot and collected evidence. A team led by DCP J Himendranath and Thrikkakara ACP P P Shams examined the area. "We couldn't identify the weapon used by the gang", said ACP Shams.
According to the officers, the gang used an 'air pistol' and they left the paper to give an impression that the Mumbai underworld don was involved in the incident. Officers said the actor was not present at the spot when the attack happened.
"There were reports that she had received threats from miscreants citing members of a Mumbai underworld gang. However, we haven't received any complaint in this regard," said an officer."
"The actor had employed private security guards allegedly after receiving the threat", said Nikhil, an employee at a nearby shop.
Fraud case against Leena in 2013
Leena Maria Paul, along with five others, were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai, in 2013, in connection with a fraud case for allegedly duping investors. She was, however, acquitted three years later. Leena had acted in Bollywood film 'Madras Cafe' and Malayalam movies 'Red Chillies' and
'Husbands in Goa'.
Police said they have contacted the actress and would record her statements soon. Officers suspect the name of Ravi Poojari was dragged in the case to mislead the investigators.