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Sibling support: What it means to be Salman Khan's sisters

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DailyBiteApr 07, 2018 | 13:10

Sibling support: What it means to be Salman Khan's sisters

Every time Salman Khan appears in court for a hearing, his sisters Alvira Khan Agnihotri and Arpita Khan Sharma make sure they accompany him. Be it in Mumbai in the hit-and-run case, or more recently the sessions court in Jodhpur in the blackbuck poaching case - the two women have always been seen by his side.

Their presence has also added heft to media coverage of the legal proceedings as on both instances we were told how they broke down after hearing the guilty verdict and the quantum of punishment.

With Salman still unmarried – he has attributed his single status to the cases pending against him – the Khan clan has had a huge role to play by helping him combat his personal demons and encouraging him in his professional endeavours. “Salman Khan is incomplete without a Sohail Khan, Arbaaz, Arpita, Alvira, Salim, Salma,” said Khan at the launch of Sania Mirza’s book in 2016. “There is no personality to Salman Khan if these people were not in his life.”

sal_040718125610.jpgImage credit: Arpita Khan Sharma/Instagram

Among the siblings, Salman is said to be closest to his sisters who have been pillars of strength and support.

While Salman may not be able to attend every hearing of his cases, it’s Alvira who fills in for the family, keeping her brother in loop with the latest developments. For many in the Jodhpur court, Alvira is a familiar face now, having been to the city on innumerable occasions over the decade. When the Jodhpur court acquitted Khan under charges of the Indian Arms Act in January 2017, newspaper reports described Alvira as his “lucky charm” who he hugged after the verdict was announced.

“He trusts her the most,” said one TV reporter who has followed both cases. It further explains Salman’s decision to entrust the financial role of Being Human Foundation to Alvira.

Reporters who have covered the two cases have spoken about how it’s Alvira who coordinates with the lawyers, and subsequently because of her repeated interactions with them, has become familiar with legal procedures. “I’m pretty sure Salman doesn’t know under what section of the Wildlife Protection Act he is being charged with,” said the TV reporter. “Alvira will know. He doesn’t have to bother. She gets everything together.” Alvira is also known for occasionally speaking to reporters who have been a regular presence in the court.

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Married to actor and filmmaker Atul Agnihotri, Alvira has been credited as costume designer in many Salman Khan-starrer films from Dabangg to Tiger Zinda Hai, and has also served as producer on Bodyguard and the upcoming Bharat, to be directed by Ali Abbas Zaffar (Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai). Unlike her younger sister Arpita, Alvira is more private and also off social media. She runs Ahakzai, a multi-designer store with Ashley Rebello in Bandra. With both Salma Khan and Helen in their late 70s, Alvira being the family’s eldest female member is seen as the matriarch of the Khan-daan.

A fashion graduate, Arpita was not seen regularly during the hit-and-run case hearings as she was pregnant. Her husband Aayush will make his Bollywood debut this year in Loveratri, a film produced by Salman. Arpita along with her sister Alvira plays an active role in the Being Human Foundation.

With their brother busy making blockbuster films, the sisters oversee the education and health initiatives of the non-profit trust. They have also expanded the business from clothing to jewellery (launched in 2016) and most recently e-cycles (2017).

Two decades since the blackbuck killings, Khan’s encounters with court aren’t going to end anytime soon. The Maharashtra government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court’s acquittal of Khan in December 2015 in the hit-and-run case. The poaching case is also going to haunt the 52-year-old actor who will see it going up to sessions and then the high court.

Apart from lawyers, he will need his family more than ever, and one can be certain that the "behens" will be by Bhai’s side.

Last updated: April 07, 2018 | 13:10
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