An old man of age 84 years named Balbir Singh Rajput come under those people whose quality become their biggest nightmare. We have seen examples of how the doppelgangers of the celebrities became stars overnight but in his case, he faced the worst consequences of it. He is a lookalike of Bollywood’s veteran actor and the renowned politician Shatrughan Sinha.
Let us tell you, how it all started?
In 2003, a Shatrughan Sinha lookalike imitated the actor and long-time MP’s famous mannerisms and laugh to gain entry to the Parliament complex, embarrassing Delhi’s security establishment. Fifteen years after the stunt, he is still facing criminal charges for a TV sting on security lapses at Parliament. Now he regrets the stunt. He says,
“I am the bali ka bakra. The sting earned TRPs while I shuttled between police stations and courts, and later even suffered heart attacks. I am the only one who is still facing charges in the case. What is my crime? I only tried to awaken the (Vajpayee) government to the lapses in security using my kala (art). I risked my life.”
Balbir Singh Rajput got charged with criminal and house trespass and cheating by personation. As the TV footage of this sting operation showed how easily he breached the security at Parliament, it created a stir because Parliament had been attacked by militants in December 2001.
The matter is still pending and up till now, he has suffered two massive heart attacks. He did the operation with an intention of getting new roles in films and TV shows. He said,
“The opposite happened. The work I already had was taken away. Producers feared that I would be arrested in the middle of a shoot so they refused to offer me a part.”
He further said,
“As I didn’t hire a lawyer, I never knew about any notice for a court appearance. Sometimes cops would show up at my house with a warrant saying I had missed a court date. I received the first summons after I returned to Mumbai in 2003. The news channel sent me a flight ticket. I was so scared to be in court. Everyone laughed the moment I entered the courtroom, thinking I was Shatrughan Sinha. I did not have money for bail. I was sent to Tihar and released the next morning. I was summoned again after some months.”
Rajput told the story of how he was approached for the role, he was in Mussoorie in 2003 when the channel called him the first time.
“They said, ‘Shooting Karni hai’. I asked how much I would be paid. They said I won’t get any money but would gain a lot of publicity. The TV crew took me to their studio and gave me some money to buy kurta-pyjama and a jacket.”
He went on to say that,
“On the day of the filming, they instructed me to walk up to the gate of what I was made to believe was a garden. It’s only when entered that I realised I was inside the Parliament complex. I kept up the act, imitating Sinha’s voice. Guards greeted and saluted me. I exited from another gate and got into the channel’s car. The next day, cops turned up at his hotel room. They asked me if I was an Indian citizen and whether I had links with Pakistan and Afzal Guru.”