Following Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s tweets questioning the decision to hang 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon, mixed reactions have come from politicians and film personalities alike, even as the actor’s father Salim sought to play down his son’s comments.
Security was tightened outside Salman’s residence in Mumbai on Sunday, hours after he posted a dozen tweets in which he raised a spirited defence of Memon, saying that it was his brother Tiger who should be hanged instead. Massive protests have meanwhile also begun in New Delhi. Effigies of the superstar are being burnt allegedly by the Hindu Sena.
Reports have also emerged of around 40 people including filmmakers and lawyers signing a petition for reversing the death sentence of Yakub. The same has now reached the President of India.
Jantakareporter.com was way ahead of other news outlets in breaking the story to its readers and within minutes of the actor’s tweets at 2:31 am this morning, the massive significance of the story was brought forward on the website.
Get tiger hang him. Parade him not his brother
— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) July 25, 2015
Tiger Memon, who Indian authorities believe is hiding in Pakistan, has been hiding ever since the blasts that killed 257 people and injured 1,400 more. Ujjwal Nikam, the special public prosecutor for the case, criticised Salman for his tweets. “The country is known for its belief in the judiciary and Khan’s statement has questioned it,” said Nikam. BJP spokesperson Shaina NC also told the media that Salman’s comments were against the steps the government was taking to counter terrorism. She said that as conspirator in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, Yakub deserved to be punished. Salman’s scriptwriter father Salim himself chose to play down the matter and chided his son, saying, “Whatever Salman has written is ridiculous and meaningless. Salman is ignorant of the issue and people should not take him seriously.”
Whatever @BeingSalmanKhan tweeted is totally meaningless. I do not support it.. Har Marne Wala Hindu Muslim sirf Hindustani tha — abhijeet (@abhijeetsinger) July 26, 2015
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said people should ignore Salman’s tweets and that it was wrong for him to question the Indian judiciary.
Senior lawyer Abha Singh meanwhile said as a convict who was himself given a five-year prison term, Salman was too audacious in his comments. “Still he has the audacity to say Yakub is innocent?” she said.
In May. the 49-year-old actor was sentenced to five years in jail in relation to a 2002 hit-and-run case that left one person dead and four others injured. Salman is currently free on bail.
However, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi appeared to have endorsed Salman’s views on the matter saying Yakub had provided some very valuable inputs about Pakistan’s role in the 1993 blasts case.
“Nation should show gratitude to this man (Yakub) for having given us valuable evidence. There seems to be a genuine turn of heart in him,” Tulsi said.
“I agree, I think (the death sentence given to Yakub) should be reconsidered. He (Yakub) has rendered us valuable help in being able to collect evidence against Pakistan,” he added.
Meanwhile, actor and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said, If he (Salman) has said this, we should try to understand his feelings.”
Along with these people, plenty of Twitter users also expressed their reaction on the whole issue, with plenty of flak being directed at the Bollywood superstar.
@JantaKaReporter @BeingSalmanKhan To Pakistan Jaeye our pakd ke laie na BAJANGI BHAI JAAN
— SAROJ KUMAR MISHRA (@commered) July 26, 2015
@JantaKaReporter What were those sleeping on the pavement in Bandra guilty of ?
— #खूनी ठुल्ला Anugrah (@BreakiNews) July 26, 2015