UPDATE: 2.18 pm – The Mumbai police confirmed on twitter on Friday that there is no reduction in the security cover provided to Bollywood celebrities. Earlier, media reports claimed that the city's police force had downgraded the security of 25 celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan.
The Mumbai Police has trimmed the security cover of 25 celebrities including Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. The decision to downgrade the security was taken after the annual assessment of the threat cover.
Earlier, around 40 Bollywood celebrities were provided with security, but after the assessment, the number has come down to 15 celebrities. These 15 celebrities, including Akshay Kumar, Mahesh Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, have genuine threats to their lives, the police said.
"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 perception," The Indian Express quoted an IPS official as saying. "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."
The 25 celebrities whose security has been withdrawn includes filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, director Rajkumar Hirani, director Farah Khan and producer siblings Ali and Karim Morani.
Shah Rukh received the security cover during the release of his film "My Name Is Khan" in 2010. In 2014, the actor was targeted by underworld don Ravi Pujari. During the release of his film "Happy New Year", members of Pujari's gang planned to attack Shah Rukh's residence and offices. However, the assessment does not indicate any imminent threat to SRK.
Aamir's security was increased after the release of his film "PK", which landed in controversies due to its storyline. The "Dangal" actor also received extortion calls from gangster Abu Salem. Recently, his comment on rising intolerance in India created controversy and BJP workers staged protests outside his residence.
"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," said a senior official.