Midnight brawl: Saif Ali Khan held,let off

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan and two others were booked for assault and arrested by the Colaba Police,following an alleged scuffle with a guest at the Wasabi Sushi Bar and Grill at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba shortly after midnight

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2012 4:04 am

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan (41) and two others were booked for assault and arrested by the Colaba Police on Wednesday evening,following an alleged scuffle with a guest at the Wasabi Sushi Bar and Grill at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba shortly after midnight Tuesday. After several attempts by the police to question him,Khan and the other two accused courted arrest at 7.45 pm,and were released on bail shortly after.

Officers at the Colaba police station said Saif was dining with a group comprising 12 persons from the film industry when the scuffle allegedly took place. “The group included Kareena Kapoor,Malaika Arora Khan,Amrita Arora and others. As the group was very large,they made a lot of noise,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Colaba Division) Iqbal Shaikh.

“Seated on the next table was Iqbal Sharma (44),a South African national of Indian origin. Sharma was accompanied by a group of six persons. When the noise levels increased,he objected and talked to the restaurant authorities. An argument then ensued and Saif and two of his friends then assaulted Sharma,” Shaikh said.

Sharma,a businessman,suffered a nasal fracture in the fight.

A complaint was lodged against Khan and two others for voluntarily causing grievous hurt. While the police said the identities of the other two were not known,sources revealed they were Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh. While Bilal is a restaurateur,Ladakh is actor Amrita Arora’s husband.

In a statement issued in the evening,Khan said: “There was an ugly incident last night where my friends and the ladies with us were abused and I was assaulted. I was hit and I defended myself. I have been to the police station to answer the requirements of law as I am a law abiding citizen. I have also filed a complaint and I am confident justice will be done… I have seen the interviews given on TV and they look like decent people and I cannot believe that the same people were so aggressive the night before and the lies that they are saying about me with such straight faces. I think they (police) have the CCTV footage in the restaurant,that will prove everything. I hope the media is able to remain impartial… I don’t think any gentleman would have behaved differently.”

Sharma,however,claimed Khan had assaulted him without any visible provocation. “He assaulted me and told me to go to a library if I needed a quiet environment. He also assaulted my father-in-law.”

Sources revealed that Khan initially contacted the police,which had been to his residence and returned empty-handed,and said he would come to the police station by 7 pm. However,he did not reach till after 7:30 pm.

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