06/05/2015 3:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Salman Khan Verdict: Singer Abhijeet Compares Pavement Dwellers To Dogs While Defending Convicted Actor

STR via Getty Images
Indian Bollywood play back singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya attends the 'Mirchi Music Awards 2015' ceremony in Mumbai on February 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

MUMBAI — Abhijeet Bhattacharya, a Bollywood playback singer who was especially popular in the '90s, found himself at the centre of a swirling controversy on Twitter after he compared homeless people to dogs in a baffling tweet clearly aimed at defending Salman Khan who was convicted today in a 12-year-old hit-and-run case.

As the Mumbai Sessions court sentenced Khan to five years in prison, several celebrities in Bollywood (especially those known to be close to the star) tweeted sympathetically in support.

Read: Salman Khan Found Guilty In 2002 Hit-And-Run Case, To Be Taken Into Custody

Among these tweets, the one that stood out most was this one by Bhattacharya:

Roughly translated (including decoding the SMS-speak towards the end), it means, "If a dog sleeps on the road then he/she will die a dog's death. Roads are not poor people's private property. I was homeless for a year, but I never slept on the road."

He tweeted a few more times to get his point through, just in case people hadn't understood where he was coming from.

The singer, known for hits like 'Ole Ole' and 'Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaoon' in the '90s, was mauled by Twitter users for his comments.

Although there really should've been no need to do so, people even explained to him what was obviously wrong with what he was saying.

Never mind the fact that he basically just called all homeless people 'dogs'.

But he wasn't the only one to bring up the 'pavements' issue. Earlier, jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali, who is Salman's friend, blamed the government for not providing housing to people. She also likened the incident, in which Salman Khan's Land Cruiser ran over people sleeping on a footpath (killing one in the process), to a person crossing railway tracks and the train driver getting penalised for it.

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