The actor trained to play a professional wrestler in the movie Sultan and promoting the project in Mumbai over the weekend (19Jun16), he opened up about his tough bootcamp sessions.

"It is the most difficult thing," the 50-year-old said. "When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be like a raped woman walking out."

His comments quickly became a trending topic on social media with the hashtag #InsensitiveSalman becoming popular on Monday (20Jun16).

Officials at India's National Commission for Women have now written to Khan demanding a public apology within seven days.

"He has demonstrated the patriarchal mindset that is prevalent in this country (and) unfortunately he will get away with it," Lalitha Kumaramangalam, the NCW chairwoman, said.

Khan has yet to comment on the furore his ill-advised choice of words caused.

The controversy could affect the success of Sultan - one prominent Indian critic has revealed he will not be seeing the film as a protest against what Salman said.

The actor's remark is also ill-timed following a string of rape cases in India in recent years that have become international stories. One gang rape and murder in 2012 led to New Delhi being dubbed "India's rape capital".

Khan's bad boy reputation was established in 2007, when he was jailed for shooting an endangered gazelle on a hunting trip in Rajasthan and last year (15), a Mumbai court overturned the actor's conviction in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case, in which he was accused of running over a homeless man.