In the light of recent events in India, the Mumbai Police had agreed to beef up security for celebrities like Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan. But according to a recent assessment the two no longer need the extra cover, reported The Indian Express.
Shahrukh and Aamir aren’t the only ones — a total of 25 celebrities have had their security curtailed or completely take away. Senior officials stressed that the move was needed to curb ”unwanted” security cover.
While Shahrukh was on the radar since 2013, Aamir got extra measures after he shared his sentiments about intolerance in India in November 2015. However now following an overhaul two armed constables will accompany the actors and will divide their shifts; armed protocol and vehicles have been taken back, officials confirmed.
“We were providing security to around 40 Bollywood celebrities. But now we have trimmed the list and have brought it down to around 15 personalities against whom there are genuine threat perceptions,” an IPS official confirmed.
“A lot of manpower gets wasted in providing security to celebrities, and it is at times unwarranted. An audit was recently conducted and security of over 20 personalities have been either nixed or trimmed,” another police source said.
The celebrities whose security is fully withdrawn includes director/producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Farah Khan and producer duo Ali and Karim Morani.
Police said that the threats against SRK sprouted after his film My Name is Khan was released. Shahrukh has also addressed this issue by writing in an English magazine about how he was a ‘soft target’ and had to prove his patriotism for India, which further led to people being critical of his views.
“However, the latest assessment does not indicate any imminent threat to the actor and, hence, we have downgraded his cover,” assured a senior official.
Aamir’s security on the other hand was beefed up post release of PK because he was receiving extortion calls. His comment about being ‘alarmed’ by raging intolerance in India led to protests and a backlash on social media as BJP protested outside his house in Mumbai.
“Post their comments on intolerance, we had provided round-the-clock security to the two actors which included two armed constables and an armed guard on two shifts and an armed escort vehicle. Following the recent assessment, we have pulled out the escorts and the armed in-charge. Now only two armed constables will cover them in two shifts,” the senior official said.
But some celebrities will still get the desired security cover. Akshay Kumar and producers Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt will be provided with adequate protection: “While Akshay Kumar had a threat perception since the release of his movies Khiladi 786 and Oh My God, he also received extortion calls from the underworld. He had also complained that he received death threats after he sacked his 46-year-old domestic help. The Bhatt brothers have threat both from the underworld and terror outfits like the Indian Mujahideen.”
Bollywood icons like Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar will have the round-the-clock security along with a police escort.
Courtesy : Dawn News