NEW DELHI: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was forcedÂ to eat humble pie over his alleged controversial tweets on the mastermind behind
the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed 257 people and critically injuredÂ 1,400.
He retracted the tweets, offered an unconditional apology and stated that heÂ had never intended to imply that 1993 Mumbai blasts case convict Yakub Memon wasÂ innocent.
In his series of tweets early Sunday, Salman Khan had defended Yakub who isÂ scheduled to be hanged on July 30 after having exhausted all his appeals.
The 49-year-old actor claimed that Yakub was an innocent man and it wasÂ Yakub’s brother, known as Tiger Memon, who should face the gallows for his roleÂ in the 1993 blasts.
In the tweet, Salman Khan had allegedly described Tiger Memon as a “wolf”Â hiding in Pakistan and wanted the Pakistani government to confirm it.
Supporters of political parties headed by BJP and its radical wing RSS,Â upset over Salman Khan’s outburst that the government did not do enough to bring
Tiger Memon to justice, staged a protest in front of his luxury apartment inÂ Mumbai.
It was Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, who initially attempted to doÂ damage control by saying that his son was “ignorant” in the matter.
He (Salim Khan) told ‘Times Now’, a leading news channel in Mumbai thatÂ whatever was written by Salman Khan was meaningless and he did not support itÂ and Salman Khan was wrong in the matter.
Over the past few days, there has been a raging debate in the local media inÂ India whether Yakub should be hanged as scheduled.
Some sympathisers claim that Yakub, a chartered accountant, was neverÂ involved in the 1993 bombings.
However, he was arrested and convicted for criminal conspiracy, arrangingÂ money for buying vehicles used by the bombers and organising air tickets toÂ Dubai for some of the conspirators.
Yakub’s mercy petition to the Maharashtra governor was dismissed and,Â recently, he approached the Supreme Court afresh to stay his execution.
If his plea is dismissed, he will be hanged at the Nagpur Central Jail onÂ July 30. — BERNAMA