Popular actor Hrithik Roshan shrugged off reports that he had made derogatory remarks against the people of Nepal, which triggered protests in Kathmandu on Sunday against the new superstar of Hindi cinema. "I have never given a TV interview to any channel stating that I dislike Nepal and its people. It is a figment of imagination of some vested interests. It is really astonishing that people can stoop down to such mischievous deeds to tarnish my image," Hrithik told PTI. In an emotional appeal to the people of Nepal, the actor said, "Please do not pay heed to such concocted reports. The fact is I love Nepal as much as I love India and have tremendous respect for the Nepalese people." Hrithik, who married Suzanne Khan, his girlfriend of five years in Bangalore last week, is leaving for a foreign destination tomorrow night to shoot for a film produced by veteran filmmaker Mohan Kumar. Meanwhile, the Government of Nepal has insisted that Hrithik tender a public apology for his alleged derogatory remarks. IANS quoted a Nepal home ministry official as saying that if the tense situation continued for another couple of hours, they will have to impose a curfew. The government's demand for Hrithik's public apology came hours after the clashes forced Nepal's information and communication ministry to order all the cinema halls not to show any movie featuring Hrithik. Space Time Network, Nepal's only cable television channel was forced to close all the Indian channels after receiving threats from the agitating students.
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