Om Puri
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Om Puri pays tribute to martyr, seeks forgiveness

By HT

Veteran actor Om Puri, who under fire for making derogatory remarks against Indian soldiers, visited the house of martyred BSF soldier Nitin Yadav in Nagla Bari village in Etawah, on Tuesday.

He met Yadav’s family and paid floral tribute to the martyr. Puri looked at the soldier’s photograph for several minutes and cried inconsolably uttering the word ‘maafi’ (forgiveness).

Puri, who turned 66 on Tuesday, chose the occassion to visit the martyr’s family and perform a ‘shuddhi yajna’ as a ‘prayashchit’ (atonement) of the controversial remark he made against soldiers during a television chat show.

“My comments are beyond forgiveness. Had I uttered those words in any other country I would have been executed. I seek forgiveness and request you to accept me as a part of your family,” the actor said to the soldier’s family.

Nitin’s father, Balbir Yadav, said that though they were hurt by the actor’s remark, they had forgiven him and accepted him as a part of their family.

During a live debate on a television channel recently, Puri had said: “Who had asked the soldiers to join the army? Who told them to pick up guns?”

Later, he apologised for the statement. During his visit to Varanasi on October 14, Puri told HT he would atone for his remark soon.

“The comments pain me a lot. I am embarrassed at what I did,” he had said. His spiritual mentor Yogi Vageesh had also suggested steps for atonement.