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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

‘Won’t accept apology from Saif’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 23, 2012
First Published: 00:53 IST(23/2/2012) | Last Updated: 00:54 IST(23/2/2012)

Iqbal Meer Sharma, the South African national (of Indian origin), who was allegedly assaulted by Saif Ali Khan at Wasabi restaurant in the Taj Mahal hotel on Tuesday, said even if the actor was to apologise now, he would not accept it.

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“If he had to apologise, he should have done it at the time of the incident. And more than me, he should have apologised to my father-in-law for assaulting a senior citizen,” Sharma said. “The law will take its course now.”

Sharma said he did not know who Saif was when the argument took place. “I did not know he is a Bollywood actor. I don’t know if he was intoxicated, but I can say that had he been sober, he would not have assaulted a senior citizen.”

Narrating what happened, Sharma, who is a senior trade official with the South African government, said he had requested the restaurant management thrice to ask Khan’s group to tone down. “They asked Saif to make less noise on three occasions, but the group did not listen.”

Eventually, his father-in-law, 68-year-old Raman Patel, a doctor, and he, decided to move to a table at the lower level. “While we were going down the stairs, Saif, who was walking up, asked me to go sit in a library if I wanted a peaceful place,” said Sharma.

Sharma claims Saif threatened him. “He said, ‘do you know who I am’. As we argued, he punched me on my nose. When my father-in-law tried to intervene, he punched him twice — on his face and stomach and he fell down,” he said.

“I helped him up and as we reached the bottom of the stairs, another man who was part of Saif’s group came running, punched my father-in-law in the face and ran back,” said Sharma.

The hotel authorities gave him tissue paper for his bleeding nose, after which they left the hotel. “We went to a local clinic and got first aid. I had my nose X-ray done,” he said. “Later, we went to Colaba police station to file a complaint.”

Patel, who recently had a bypass surgery and suffers from a lung disorder, said: “Celebrities are people who are looked up at. You don’t expect such rowdy behaviour from them. Besides, we were in a five-star hotel. They should have at least abided by the decorum that is to be maintained in such a place.”


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