Bollywood superstar Salman Khan on Sunday morning advocated against the death penalty of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon. The actor’s series of tweets in favour of Memon landed him trouble forcing him to clarify on his statement later in the day.
Salman Khan took to Twitter again in the evening to issue a clarification, saying his tweets were not meant to hurt any religion. “I also strongly condemn those who are claiming my tweets are anti-religious. I have always said I respect all faiths and I always will,” he said.
“I would like to unconditionally apologise for any misunderstanding I may have created unintentionally. My dad called and said I should retract my tweets as they have the potential to create misunderstanding. I here by retract them,” the actor added.
Salman stressed that he never intended to say that Yakub is innocent and that he has complete faith in the judicial system of the country.
“Many lives were lost in the Mumbai blasts. And I have repeatedly said the loss of one innocent life is equal to the loss of all humanity. I had tweeted that Tiger Memon should hang for his crimes and I stand by it. What I also said is that Yakub Memon should not hang for him,” his tweets read.
Salman’s father Salim Khan, a noted scriptwriter, had also criticised his son for his remarks. “He (Salman) should not say anything about these kind of serious topics without any knowledge. He should not have made such a comment. Salman is ignorant of the issue and people should not take him seriously,” Salim Khan said.
There were protests outside Salman’s house in Mumbai soon after his tweets were picked up by the media. Security was beefed up around Salman’s apartment and some protesters were also taken in to custody by the police.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Yoga Baba Ramdev too lashed out at Salman for his statement. Thackeray said one cannot question the judgment of Supreme Court. “Such tweets must be ignored for they deserve only that,” he added.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam also criticised the actor saying he should withdraw his ‘innocent man’ tweet in favour of Memon.