Salman Khan

Salman Khan at a promotion of “Sultan” on the sets of “Udaan” in Mumbai June 21. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI — The actor’s remark in a recent interview comparing himself to a raped woman has triggered outrage. Ignoring their demands to make a public apology, Salman Khan remained unapologetic in his responses to notices by two women’s panels for using a rape analogy to describe a grueling shoot for his upcoming film “Sultan,” prompting the summoning of the Bollywood star in Mumbai July 7.     

Chairperson of the National Commission for Women Lalitha Kumaramangalam said June 29 that it is looking into Khan’s response, which is “not apologetic,” while the Maharashtra State Commission for Women expressed its displeasure over the actor’s failure to turn up before it and summoned him for July 7, after terming his reply as “unsatisfactory."    

“Salman Khan has sent a reply, and it is not apologetic in tenor. We now need to decide what we are going to do next. We have to look at both what comes under our mandate and what are the legalities involved.     

“We are not going to give out the details of Salman Khan’s reply now. We need to first go through it in detail, along with our lawyers. Only then will both his reply and what we are going to do next will be made public,” she said in New Delhi.      

The reply was e-mailed to NCW through a lawyer on the evening of June 28, while the NCW notice was sent directly to the 50-year-old actor to his residence.      

“The reply has come from his lawyer, which means it is a legal reply. So we can’t just reply off the cuff,” Kumaramangalam said.      

The NCW chief had earlier said that if the actor did not give a satisfactory reply, then he could be asked to appear before the Commission.      

Calling the comment “callous and condemnable,” NCW had issued Salman Khan a notice earlier, giving him five days to reply.

“We have sent him a letter asking for an explanation in seven days. We have said that he should give a public apology,” the NCW chief had then said.    

In Mumbai, the actor sent a letter to MSCW June 28 through his lawyer stating that the case is already being heard by the national commission, and the matter cannot be heard simultaneously at two places.    

After considering his response, the panel expressed dissatisfaction over the actor’s argument.      

“The Commission and its members today went through the letter given by the actor, and we found it unsatisfactory. The letter says that case is already being heard by NCW, and henceforth it would tantamount to a case of double zero party. But we are of the view that our state commission has been conferred with concurrent powers and the case can be heard at both places simultaneously,” said MSCW chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar.   

After a thorough discussion, the Commission has now summoned the actor along with his lawyer July 7, without fail to present his position, she told reporters.      

It had sent him a notice seeking his explanation on the alleged remarks by this afternoon.

When asked what steps the Commission would take if Khan failed to turn up again July 7, Rahatkar said, “That would be decided that day.”

The NCW chief had earlier said that if the actor did not give a satisfactory reply, he could be asked to appear before the Commission.

Salman Khan invited the wrath of several women’s groups after his remark in a recent interview comparing himself to a raped woman.      

“When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot (of "Sultan"), I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight,” Khan had said.    

Calling the comment “callous and condemnable,” NCW had issued Khan a notice earlier, giving him five days to reply.      

“We have sent him a letter asking for an explanation in seven days. We have said that he should give a public apology,” the NCW chief had then said. 

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