‘I was hit and I defended myself’

Saif Ali Khan has been granted bail against charges of assault. Here’s what he has to say in his defense

Last night, Saif Ali Khan allegedly punched Iqbal Sharma, former Deputy Director General of South Africa's department of Trade and Industry and presently the CEO of Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA) at Wasabi, Mumbai’s plush Japanese restaurant in Taj Mahal Hotel. The alleged reason: Sharma asked Saif’s table to keep a lid on the decibel levels. Following his knockout at Wasabi, Sharma filed a police complaint against the 41-year-old actor, charging him with assault.

And this isn't the first time Saif has roughed up someone. 17 years ago, Saif had bashed up gay activist Ashok Row Kavi. Here's Kavi's version of the incident

Saif, who has been granted bail for his offence, has a different story to tell. He explains, “There was an ugly incident last night where my friends and the ladies with us were abused and I was assaulted.”Although most TV reports only talk about Saif’s thundering punch, he tells us that he was the one who was attacked first and his punch was merely an act of self-defense. He says, “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 about what happened last night 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 have the CCTV footage in the restaurant that will prove everything.”

Saif even requests the media to support him through this controversy. He says, “I hope the media is able to remain impartial while the matter is being decided. I don’t think any gentleman would have behaved differently.”

Incidentally, it's raining brawls in Bollywood. Only last month, SRK collared Shirish Kunder, Farah Khan's less successful director husband and slapped him at Aurus, a Bollywood hangout in Juhu. Here's our pick of the top 10 Bollywood brawls of all times.

Here's also a video of Iqbal Sharma, the man whose nose Saif broke:

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