Eight years ago on November 26, 2008, Mumbai was attacked by LeT terrorists from Pakistan who took 168 lives and wounded more than 300 people. It left a deep scar in the hearts Mumbaikars (people of Mumbai) and the whole nation was in the state of shock.
Mumbai is called city of dreams and presence of Bollywood adds glamour to its way of life. Bollywood celebrities have their own memories and stories during the terror attacks in the city. But some of them are marked with controversies. Here we look at some of those controversies which occurred in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks.
Ram Gopal Varma’s visit to Taj Hotel post- terror attack: Perhaps one of the most talented and innovative film director in India, Ram Gopal Varma visited Taj hotel after Mumbai terror attacks along with actor Riteish Deshmukh, son of Vilasrao Deshmukh who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra when Mumbai terror attack took place.
Varma’s visit was criticized for being insensitive towards the people of Mumbai. There were allegations on the director that his visit was facilitated by Vilasrao Deshmukh and the speculation of casting Riteish Deshmukh in one of his upcoming movie based on terror attacks in Mumbai.
Varma denied all the allegations and said that the sole purpose of his visit was nothing but his curiosity to witness a scene of an unprecedented happening. Riteish himself did not know that anybody would read meanings into this act and his father Vilasrao did not even know that he was in the group of members visiting Taj hotel. In 2012 Varma also apologized regarding his visit to Taj hotel.
Rahul Bhatt and David Headley: Rahul Bhatt is an Indian fitness trainer and an aspiring film actor he is the son of famous film director Mahesh Bhatt and Kiran Bhatt. In September 2008, Rahul Bhatt and friend Vilas Varak met David Headley at a Mumbai gym.
After the 26/11 attacks, Headley wrote Rahul an email in which he said he would soon be visiting them again. Headley claims to have warned Bhatt not to visit South Mumbai area on November 26, the day the Mumbai attacks started. Rahul Bhatt has denied all the allegations made against him.
David Coleman Headley is an American terrorist of Pakistani origin, and a spy who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
It has been alleged that Headley made periodic trips to Pakistan for LeT training. Under the direction of Lashkar chiefs, Headley performed five spying missions in Mumbai to scout targets for the attacks, which killed 168 people.
Death of celebrity’s relative: Bollywood actor Ashish Chowdhury's sister, Monica Chhabaria, and her husband also were killed during the terror attack at the Oberoi. The actor waited outside the hotel for word of his sister, who he said had stopped answering phone calls after the siege began.
Salman Khan's statement: In an interview to Pakistani channel Express TV, Salman had said: "Too much hype has been created around the 26/11 attacks because elite people were targetted. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much."
This was met with strong criticism and Salman apologized for his statement. Later on, speaking to an Indian TV channel, Salman said: "The interview has been twisted. I saw it myself, the way it is coming across on TV, it is sounding insensitive. I was just saying life is equal for both rich and poor, some attacks get more media coverage and some don't. Why is that? Every human life is important."