Salman Targeted Due to Celebrity Status, Not Religion, Says Father Salim Khan

Salman Targeted Due to Celebrity Status, Not Religion, Says Father Salim Khan

File photo of actor Salman Khan

Mumbai:

Days after he advised his son, actor Salman Khan, to retract his controversial tweets on Yakub Memon, noted screenwriter Salim Khan said his son had been targeted as he was a celebrity and not because of his religion.

"Salman is a star, a celebrity. That's why the protests. Not because he is a Muslim. Moreover, in this particular case, BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar had personal vendetta against Salman," Mr Khan told NDTV.

Mr Khan said Mr Shelar was upset with Salman as he had campaigned for Congress candidate Baba Siddique in the 2009 assembly elections. He had defeated Mr Shelar by a slender margin.

"Shelar had told me that when he would get a chance he would hit back," Mr Khan claimed. As a party, the BJP had nothing to do with the protests outside his house in Bandra last week, he added.

Following Salman's tweets, Mr Shelar had met Governor Vidyasagar Rao, urging him to cancel the bail granted to the actor in the 2002 drink driving case in which he has been convicted.

Mr Shelar was not available for comments.

Days before the 1993 Bombay blasts convict was hanged, Salman had tweeted saying Yakub was "innocent" and it was Memon's absconding brother Tiger, who should be the one sent to the gallows.

The tweets had triggered protests. While the social media had erupted, the local wing of the BJP had held protests outside the actor's house. The matter finally ended with Salman retracting his tweets.

Mr Khan said he did not believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "communal" as alleged by the opposition.

"I can say Narendra Modi is not communal as I know him. After meeting a person several times, one gets an idea of his thinking and ideology. I am 79. If I cannot understand this, then I must be a fool," he concluded.