Former Bangladesh cricket team captain Shakib Al Hasan has issued an apology after receiving death threats on social media for taking part in a Kali puja inauguration in Kolkata.
“As a proud Muslim, I seek apology from you all if I have hurt your sentiments,” Shakib said in a video shared on social media. The star all-rounder was at a Kali Puja pandal on November 12 in east Kolkata’s Kakurgachi area.
Accusing the cricketer of blasphemy, a young man on Sunday threatened to kill the Bangladeshi all-rounder in a video post on Facebook. The youth identified himself as Mohsin Talukdar from Sylhet and has been arrested.
Reacting to the accusation, Shakib insisted he did not inaugurate the puja, but only took part in the programme that followed. “If you see the invitation card of the puja, you will know that I was not called for invitation. It was inaugurated before my arrival by Mr Firhad Hakim, a minister from West Bengal,” he clarified.
Shakib, who addressed fans on stage, said that organisers requested him for a photo opportunity inside the pandal, which he obliged.
Youth from Sylhet threatens to slaughter Bangaldesh cricketer @Sah75official over his recent visit to a Kali Puja pandal in Kolkata last Thursday. Bangaldesh police have now arrested the person pic.twitter.com/RA3pnE3TFQ
— Indrajit Kundu | – (@iindrojit)
“Kolkata is like my home, I never miss an opportunity to visit here. We should all pray that relations between people from both the sides stays strong forever,” the cricketer said while addressing the event on November 12.
“There was no intention to show my own religion in poor light. Neither was religion discussed at the event when I was on dais. I believe Islam is a religion of peace. I always try to follow every custom of Islam. Yes, we do make mistakes but I try to learn from them in order to become a better Muslim,” the cricketer was heard saying in his video message.
“I just want to say, let’s not do something which may divide our society. As long as we are united, we shall be powerful. We Muslims shall always remain united,” he added.
Shakib was handed a two-year ban, with a one-year suspended sentence, by ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit on October 29 last year, for failing to report multiple corrupt approaches by an Indian bookmaker. His ban ended last month and was allowed to resume cricket from November 10.