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‘Dangal’ girl Zaira Wasim fearing backlash, apologises for meeting J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti

Zaira Wasim, the Kashmiri teen who shot to fame for her stellar role in Aamir Khan’s blockbuster “Dangal”, was today unwittingly caught up in controversy over her meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in the backdrop of the unrest in the Valley.

16-year-old Zaira first posted an apology for “offending” and “unintentionally hurting” people after her meeting with Mehbooba kicked up a row and trolled online but later deleted the post. She then posted again, this time asking everyone not to blow the issue out of proportion but deleted this post too.

Zaira, who played the younger version of wrestler Geeta Phogat in “Dangal”, took to Facebook and tendered an apology apparently over her meeting with the chief minister on Saturday that drew sharp reactions from the youth in the Valley because of the situation there during the last few months. She also played down her performance in “Dangal”, saying she was “not proud of” what she is doing. “This is an open confession/apology. I know that many people have been offended and displeased by my recent actions or by the people I have recently met,” the actress wrote on her Facebook page. Zaira said she wanted to apologise to “all those people who I have unintentionally hurt and I want them to know that I understand their sentiments behind it especially considering that what had happened over the past six months” – apparently referring to the unrest in the Valley which left 86 people dead and thousands injured. “But I hope people can also understand there are certain circumstances that emerge which one cannot control and I hope people still remember that I’m a just a 16 year old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly. I’m sorry for what I did but it was not a deliberate decision and I really hope people can forgive me,” she said. Zaira also played down her projection as a role model for the youth of Kashmir, saying she does not want anyone to follow in her footsteps. “There are few more things which are very important and I want to clear them as well. The first and foremost thing is that I am being projected as a role model for Kashmiri Youth. I want to make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my footsteps or even consider me as a role model.

Zaira later removed her first post and came up with a new one, where she claimed that she has “not been forced into anything by anyone”. She, however, deleted that too after sometime.  “Regarding my lst post, I have no idea why this has become such a big issues. I just wanted to make sure that I did not hurt anyone’s feelings and all of a sudden it has been turned into national news. Again and again I am telling people that I have not been forced into anything by anyone,” she had said in the second post.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said Zaira should not be forced to apologise.  “A 16 year old shouldn’t be forced to apologise & that too allegedly for meeting @MehboobaMufti. What are we coming to!!!!!,” he tweeted.  “I’ve a problem with @MehboobaMufti trying to usurp other peoples success to cover up her own failures but why punish/troll people she meets?,” he added. – PTI

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