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Change of guard at Shahrukh's residence

Source: PTI
August 15, 2006 20:52 IST
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Mumbai police on Tuesday decided to provide round-the-clock police cover for Bollywood actor Shahrukh and his family members after a private security guard, posted at the actor's residence in Mumbai, was shot dead by a fellow securityman on Monday night.

Employed with TOP private security agency, Chandra Pratap Singh on duty last night was injured when Yatendra Singh fired at him with an imported firearm following an altercation at 'Mannat,' Khan's bungalow in suburban Bandra.

Chandra Pratap succumbed in nearby Bhabha hospital, police said.

Preliminary investigations said Chandra Pratap was not shot accidentally as was being presumed earlier but was fired on by Yatendra in a fit of rage, they said. Yatendra was arrested and a 0.32 bore licensed revolver, which he allegedly used to shoot at his colleague, seized, the police said.

Following the incident, Shahrukh is learnt to have discontinued services of the private security agency that protected him and his house so far after senior police officials on Tuesday offered him police security cover. Policemen will now be posted round the clock outside 'Mannat' while a police security officer will accompany the actor in Mumbai and outside, sources said.

Senior Mumbai police officials, who met the Bollywood actor at his residence on Tuesday, convinced him how the police security cover was necessary for him and how it was far more reliable than private security agencies, sources said.

"We have already been tipped by intelligence agencies that iconic personalities could be next target of terrorists. Although Shahrukh was not in the list, one cannot rely on security agencies like the one Khan had," a senior police official said.

Additional Police Commissioner (West region) Bipin Bihari expressed surprise at the manner in which the private security agency had recruited the guards.

"The accused had come to Mumbai just 10 days ago and it is surprising how the agency decided to post the novice to the residence of an important person without verifying his antecedents," Bihari said.

Yatendra was recruited because he owned the gun and had a valid licence, the official said, adding police would seek details from the security agency on its procedures of recruiting people and the antecedents of its staff. Meanwhile, Yatendra, who was booked for murder, was produced in a local court and remanded to police custody till August 22, police said.

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