Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan
Mumbai: The Maharashtra
government Friday promised to protect Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh
Khan after he came under attack from the Shiv Sena for advocating
the cause of Pakistani cricketers in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Minister of State
for Home Ramesh Bagwe told reporters that the government was ready
to provide Shah Rukh security if he desired it.
The minister also
vowed to give "full security" to all the players in the IPL matches.
The Shiv Sena hit
out at the actor, who is also the Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner,
after he said that he would have picked a Pakistani player for IPL
matches if his team had a slot.
The IPL teams'
failure to select even a single Pakistani cricketer has raised a
storm in Pakistan.
Rukh for espousing the cause of Pakistani players, Shiv Sena Rajya
Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said if the actor was so keen on them, "he
could go play his matches in Lahore, not in India".
"Pakistan has been
blatantly indulging in terror activities and killing our innocent
people. Sena is firm in not allowing Pakistani players on our soil,"
Raut told reporters.
Taking the issue
further, Thane Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde announced that no film
of Shah Rukh would be screened in the district.
"Since Shah Rukh
Khan has hurt the sentiments of the people by his utterances, we
have decided that his films will not be exhibited in any cinema or
multiplex in the entire Thane district," said Shinde.
Shah Rukh's latest
movie, "My Name Is Khan", is due for global release Feb 12.
Shah Rukh had said
in Ahmedabad Wednesday that there was a need to create an
environment where IPL franchisees could recruit Pakistani players
He said that his
team had exhausted its quota of foreign players by picking up Shane
Bond. Otherwise, he would have loved to have Pakistanis in the
Kolkata Knight Riders.
In a related
development, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray lashed out at
industrialist Mukesh Ambani for his views in London that Mumbai
belonged to the whole country.
Saying that the
industrialist was "not in his senses" when he made the statement,
Thackeray said that "Mumbai belonged to Marathis" as much as
Reliance Industries belonged Mukesh Ambani.