Shera for Salman Khan, Yuvraj Ghorpade for Aamir: Bodyguards of Bollywood stars
On Wednesday, 26 October, Salman Khan's bodyguard Shera was questioned by the Mumbai police on charges of physical assault. Akhtar Moin Qureshi filed a complaint with the DN Nagar Police Station, alleging that Shera had threatened him with a gun, and hit him, in an altercation between the two on Tuesday night.
Shera has denied the allegation, saying that the duo did have an argument, but it was only verbal.
“Nothing happened on Tuesday,” Shera told Times Now on Wednesday morning, before being questioned by the police. “I went to meet a friend at Kokilaben Hospital, then I went to Pop Tate’s where I had a verbal argument on the phone, but no physical scuffle. The police came to my house in the morning and now I am accompanying them to the DN Nagar Police Station. I don’t know the details of the charges against me.”
Salman on his part believes that Shera is innocent, as reported Mumbai Mirror.
"They have offered complete support to Shera, who has been working for the family for the last 21 years. He has told the Khans that he wasn’t involved in the brawl, and they have no reason to not believe him," the Mirror report quoted a source as saying.
You can read a full report of the incident on Firstpost:
The case has triggered a huge amount of interest in Shera, who has been Salman Khan's bodyguard for nearly two decades now. Shera is among the most recognisable faces of an elite breed of personnel who are in charge of the security of top Bollywood stars.
Shera (whose real name is Gurmeet Singh) became the head of Salman's security detail back in the mid-90s. The Indian Express reports that it was Salman's brother Sohail Khan who chose Shera, and the superstar and his bodyguard have been inseparable ever since.
The Indian Express report points out that Shera went to the extent of cutting off his hair and giving up his turban (he is Sikh) as it interfered with his work, and has beee known to run for miles ahead of Salman's car, clearing out crowds, when fan frenzy goes out of hand. Salman on his part, dedicated his film Bodyguard (also starring Kareena Kapoor Khan) to Shera, opting to sport the logo of the latter's firm — Tiger Security — on his costume despite being offered several lucrative deals to endorse other services.
While Shera is the most famous of the Bollywood bodyguards, there are other faces who are also recognisable, by virtue of being with the stars everywhere they go. These include:
Mayur Shettigar — Hrithik Roshan
Mayur Shettigar is the one who protects Hrithik Roshan from overenthusiastic fans. When Hrithik was recently (almost) knocked over by a fan at a multiplex, it was Shettigar who stepped in to prevent the situation from escalating. Apart from his security responsibilities, Shettigar is also a huge champion of Hrithik on social media, and was most recently, enthusiastically sharing the Kaabil trailer with his friends. Shettigar has said that the star treats him like a younger brother.
Yuvraj Ghorpade — Aamir Khan
Yuvraj Ghorpade had a keen interest in bodybuilding even as a teenager, but didn't foresee a career in it when he finished school. But after joining Ace Secrity, Ghorpade found that he had a all the skills necessary for to be really good at the job. For the past several years now, Ghorpade has been in charge of Aamir Khan's security detail. It's a job he enjoys — not least for its substantial prestige value.
"Many of my friends are envious of the fact that I roam with such a big celebrity all the time," Ghorpade admitted in an interview with The Express Tribune.
Ravi — Shah Rukh Khan; Jitendra Shinde — Amitabh Bachchan
Not much is known about the men who guard Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan; they keep a relatively low profile. Ravi is believed to accompany SRK on all his shoots, whether at home or abroad, while Shinde is among the posse that guards Bachchan Sr whenever he steps out of Jalsa.
Yusuf Ibrahim — Shahid Kapoor, Sunny Leone
Ibrahim doesn't fit the stereotype of the beefy guard, but he provides security services to stars like Shahid Kapoor, and Sunny Leone.
Ibrahim previously told Mid-Day what his job entailed: "It all depends on the situation we are in. I do my homework before escorting any superstar to a location. The problem I face is when we exit a venue and travel to an event. Some crazy fans ride their bikes rashly to get a glimpse or take pictures with the star. To control and convince them not to risk their life is a problem."
Shreysay Thele — Akshay Kumar
Thele doesn't' just look after Akshay, he is also in charge of the actor's son, Aarav's security. While Thele has been a solid presence by Akshay's side for several years now, in April 2016, there was a controversy when he punched a fan who got too close to the actor in the quest for a selfie.
Akshay issued an apology on Thele's behalf, saying to PTI: "What my bodyguard did was wrong. I apologise for that. But sometimes you need to take care of these things because the actors don’t realise... they don’t understand that sometimes they might get injured too."