Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra has apologised after a FIR was lodged against her and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan for allegedly using the word "bhangi" on a public platform that hurt the sentiments of the Scheduled Caste community.
"Some of my words from an interview in the past have been misinterpreted. It was never said with the intent of hurting anyone's feelings," Shipa tweeted on Sunday.
"I apologise if they have. I'm proud to belong to a country that boasts of diverse castes and creeds and I respect each one of them," she added.
The FIR was lodged against Salman and Shilpa on Saturday at Andheri Police station by Navin Ramchandra Lade, General Secretary of the Rojgar Aghari Republican Party of India.
"We highly condemn Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty for using such words that show us in bad light. We have filed a complaint.
"According to law, he has to serve an imprisonment of five years," Kishore Masoom, Vice President of Rojgar Aghari Republican Party of India, told IANS after the FIR was lodged.
On Saturday, a statement was also issued by Lade's lawyer, which read: "Salman along with Katrina Kaif on a TV show used the insulting word 'bhangi' against a member of the Scheduled Caste.
"Actor Shilpa Shetty stated in an interview 'I look like a bhangi' - it appears from her statement that she is encouraging and spreading ill-feeling among the entire society. He also intentionally insulted members of the Scheduled Caste. Both actors have committed offence under sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, and Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955."