Paresh Rawal says he was “coerced” to delete Arundhati Roy tweet

Bollywood actor-turned BJP parliamentarian Paresh Rawal, who sparked a Twitter storm with his tweet on award-winning author Arundhati Roy, has deleted the controversial tweet. He alleged that he was “coerced by Twitter” into removing the particular tweet.

Rawal issued a statement dated May 24 which read, “With this letter, I inform to all my supporters and citizens of this country that I am being coerced to delete something I tweeted on May 21, or else Twitter would block my account.”

He, however, maintained his stance and defended his tweet. "I Paresh Rawal, citizen of India, continue to defend my tweet and support my expression which was made without any prejudice to gender, race, religion or caste. More importantly, I maintain that I ardently love my country and support my country unwaveringly, I stand by and will continue to stand by the citizens and Indian armed forces under any situation and at any cost," the Lok Sabha member from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad East said in the letter.

Rawal’s controversial tweet read, “Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie up Arundhati Roy!" It was a reference to the incident where an army officer tied a Kashmiri local to the bonnet of his jeep as a ‘human shield’ to thwart the attempts of stone pelters during the Srinagar by-polls in April. The incident gave rise to a huge public outcry.

Arundhati Roy has been a vocal supporter of Kashmir separatist campaign and alleged human rights abuses in the state. Rawal’s tweet came in the wake of the ‘God of Small Things’ author’s recent visit to Srinagar where she reportedly called “Indian aggression” in Kashmir “shameful.”