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Salman's comments prompt angry reactions from political parties



Salman Khan

Mumbai: Hindi film actor Salman Khan, who was under attack on Sunday for telling a Pakistani channel that the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai were hyped up because the “elite people” were targeted, has apologised for his “insensitive” comments.

His comments prompted angry reactions from political parties, with the Shiv Sena calling them “anti-national.” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and the Bharatiya Janata Party reacted sharply to the actor's statement.

“It was the elite that were targeted this time. Five star hotels and all. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before? Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” Salman said during the interview.

He claimed that his comments were “twisted” by the channel. “I gave an interview to the channel three weeks ago. In this festive season of Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi, a segment of the interview has been twisted and released. I saw it and realised that it sounded very insensitive.”

Salman, who is riding high after the success of his latest film Dabangg, tweeted that he plans to record all his media interviews in the future.

His father Salim Khan, a renowned scriptwriter, too had said that his son should not have made the remarks.

Sena leader Sanjay Raut said: “The 26/11 attacks were a war against the nation. Salman should apologise for his remarks. Ambani was not staying at the CST [Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus], nor was Tata or Birla staying in the Cama Lane.” The CST and Cama Lane were among the places targeted by terrorists.

Mr. Bhujbal said: “He is an actor. He does not have the information to make a comment on whether the Pakistani government was involved or not. People travelling in taxis, constables, waiters, hotel workers, all lost their lives in the attacks.”

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The 26/11 attack was an attack on India. We cannot forget that Indian citizens were killed. This was not a small issue for Salman Khan to comment. This was an attack meticulously planned by Pakistan.”

Condemning Salman's remarks, Special Prosecutor in the 26/11 trial Ujjwal Nikam said that the statement was “childish.”

“It appears that without knowing the details of the terror attack, the actor made such statements and I shall say these are childish remarks. They [terrorists] don't make any distinction between rich and poor. It is judicially established that the outcome was a deep-rooted criminal conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and the targets were deliberately selected to wage war against India.”

The attacks left 166 people dead. — PTI

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