Sacked Coronation Street actor Marc Anwar will face a police hate crime investigation over the controversial comments he made about Indians on Twitter.
Screenshots of the Pakistani-born actor’s Twitter account, in which he described Indians as “b*****ds” and “p**s-drinking c****” and lashed out at the ongoing violence in Kashmir claiming “Indians killing our Kashmir brothers and sisters”, were published in a Sunday newspaper.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester police said: “On Sunday 25 September 2016, police received a report of a hate crime. Police have launched an investigation and inquiries are ongoing.”
On Monday (September 26), Anwar apologised for what he described as a “moment of madness” which was a result of his “sincere feelings for the people of Kashmir”.
In a video on YouTube, the 45-year-old said: “I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone that I may have offended with my tweets on Friday evening, and especially people from India.
“This was never my intention. The language was unacceptable.
“I feel I have let a lot of people down: my family, my friends and my former colleagues.”
He added: “On Friday evening I saw, on the news, children being pulled out of rubble, people being pelted with pellets, women mourning their dead in Kashmir.
“This upset me very deeply and in a moment of madness I ranted out. I vented my anger.”
Anwar’s Twitter comments are alleged to have been a reaction to the Indian army killing a Pakistani militant in Kashmir in a gunfight. It came on the back of an attack on an Indian army base in the region which killed 18 Indian soldiers.
Indian officials blamed Pakistan for the attack, a charge which Pakistan has denied.
Anwar has, however, claimed his intention was not to attack India, telling the BBC Asian Network: “It was aimed at the two governments in the two countries.”
Coronation Street hired Anwar in 2014 in the role of businessman Sharif Nazir. He was part of the first Muslim family on Britain’s longest-running soap. However, his bosses at ITV were quick to condemn the actor’s comments as “entirely unacceptable and racially offensive”.
They confirmed he would not be returning to Coronation Street, though the episodes which he has already filmed will be broadcast as his character is phased out.
When asked if he hoped to one day return to the soap, Anwar, who has acted in Hollywood films such as Captain Phillips and 51st State, said: “If work doesn’t come my way, I won’t starve.”