Firing exposes Salman Khan’s precarious security situation | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Firing exposes Salman Khan’s precarious security situation

ByMeena Iyer
Apr 16, 2024 09:12 AM IST

Firing incident at Salman Khan's building in highlights his heightened security concerns amidst death threats, limiting his freedom and social engagements.

Mumbai: The firing incident at Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s residential building in Bandra on Sunday morning has exposed the heightened security concerns the actor has been grappling with for the past two years.

Bollywood actor Salman Khan greets fans gathered outside his residence on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on April 11, 2024.(AFP)
Bollywood actor Salman Khan greets fans gathered outside his residence on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on April 11, 2024.(AFP)

Since June 2022, Khan, provided Y-plus security by the state government, has been living like a prisoner between his home at Galaxy apartments in Bandra and his farmhouse at Panvel. He rarely steps out except for shoots and the odd public appearance, when a huge security contingent accompanies him. He has also been turning down nearly 80% of the invitations for social events because the exercise of travelling with security “is proving to be cumbersome”, according to an insider.

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Concerns around Khan’s security spiked after he received a series of death threats.

On June 5, 2022, a handwritten note was left on a bench where his father Salim Khan sits every morning on the Bandra Bandstand promenade after his walk, warning that Salman would meet the same fate as Sikh singer Sidhu Moosewala, who was assassinated in Mansa district, Punjab on May 29, 2022.

Also Read | Salman Khan to resume work post gun-fire incident, asks celebrity friends not to visit him

The same year, another threat was reportedly received from gangsters Laurence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar. The duo wanted revenge against Khan for hurting religious sentiments by allegedly killing a black buck in 1999 in Rajasthan, when he was there shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain.

On Sunday, when two bike-borne assailants fired at Galaxy apartments at around 5am, all members of Khan’s family were fast asleep, and none of them knew about the shooting until a few hours later, said an insider. In fact, as is usual, Salim Khan went for his morning walk to Bandstand at around 7.30am, HT learnt.

“This is a very unfortunate and sad development,’’ said producer NR Pachisia. “Salman is a man of the masses and a big asset for Bollywood. If there has been a lapse in his security, the authorities must look into the matter urgently and take corrective measures.”

Also Read | Firing outside Salman Khan's home: Suspect from Gurugram; crime branch gets case

Though Pachisia and others demanded tighter security for the superstar, the extent to which existing security provisions have curbed his freedom was evident during a trailer launch of his niece Alizeh Agnihotri’s film Farrey on November 1, 2023.

The event was organised at a suburban theatre. When Khan arrived at the venue, he was not allowed to take selfies even with friends – security personnel whisked him away to the stage, and later, out of the auditorium, without providing any chance of engagement with fans.

Though Khan has appeared unfazed by all the frenzy and security around him, a friend of the actor said he rued not being able to step out of home, even to meet friends.

“All his entertaining has been curtailed to his two-room apartment. Even when Canadian singer and rapper AP Dhillon showed keenness to meet Salman, the actor could not leave his compound,” the friend said.

The heightened security around Salman owes a lot to the lack of progress in identifying and nabbing those behind the threats he received in 2022, indicating those who wanted to harm him are still at large. Sunday’s incident reiterates this fact clearly.

But then again, Khan has always been controversy’s favourite child. Even as the furore around the black buck case continued, in 2002, a person sleeping on the pavement outside the American Express Bakery on Hill Road in Bandra was crushed to death under the wheels of his white Land Cruiser. The actor was sbubsequently acquitted in the case.

Ironically, none of his personal trials affected his iconic status or box office collections. In fact, they had the reverse effect.

Khan’s popularity soared as he delivered blockbusters like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Tiger Zinda Hai, Sultan, Kick and Ek Tha Tiger. He also hosted 14 out of 17 seasons of the reality show Big Boss. Being Human, his signature clothing line, became among the leading brands. And the massive crowds continue to throng outside his Bandstand home on Eid.

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