Mumbai: Salman Khan kicked off a storm on Sunday after he said in an interview to a Pakistani news channel that the Mumbai terror attacks got coverage because most of the victims in those attacks were rich. The Bollywood superstar also went on to say that the Pakistan government was not involved in those attacks.
"Too much hype has been created around the 26/11 attacks because elite people were targetted. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much. Everybody took this up because the Taj and the Oberoi hotels were involved.
The attacks happened because our security failed. Everybody knows that the Pakistan government was not behind it and it was a terrorist attack," Salman told the channel.
His comments invoked strong reaction from Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan who said that the rich were not the only victims of the attacks.
"The attack was not only on Taj and Oberoi but also on CST where the not so rich were also killed. Irrespective of one's financial status, terrorist attacks are always horrendous. We should all stand up against terrorism," Chavan said.
On his comments on Pakistan government, Chavan added, "I don't know what Salman Khan has said but Kasab's arrest and court's verdict have made it clear that Pakistan's hand was there in the conspiracy, in the attack against India. Once the verdict is given by the court, there is no room for anyone's opinion."
The opposition Shiv Sena too slammed the actor and said that his comments insulted all those who died in those attacks.
"Pakistan has banned all Indian channels; Indian artistes are also facing a ban in Pakistan. Such being the case, how can Salman Khan give interview to a Pakistan channel? If Salman feels that the attack on Taj and Oberoi happened because of the presence of high profile people, it was not on the hotels but on the nation itself. He has insulted the country and the martyrs," said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
The party has demanded an apology from the actor.
Salman Khan has however said that he was misquoted.
In his tweet, he said: "every human life has equal value n any act of terror, anywhere in the world is unpardonable. be it 9/11 or 26/11."