Iqbal Meer Sharma, an NRI residing in Juhu, who was allegedly assaulted by actor Saif Ali Khan at a restaurant in South Mumbai on Tuesday, said that he had requested the restaurant's management thrice to ask Khan's group of six people to lower the noise before Khan attacked him and his 68-year-old father-in-law.
"The hotel's management asked Khan to make less noise on three occasions after I repeatedly requested them, but the group did not relent. Eventually, my father-in-law and I decided to move to a table downstairs. While we were descending the staircase, Khan who was walking up the staircase then asked me to go sit in a library if i wanted a peaceful place," said Sharma, who is the chairman of a private firm in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Sharma said that he tried to speak politely to Khan when he started using abusive language. "Khan threatened me saying 'you do not know who I am.' He used unspeakable abusive language and after the argument furthered, he punched me on my nose. When my father-in-law tried to intervene, he punched him twice- on his face and stomach," alleged Sharma.
Sharma said that due to the force of the punches, his father-in-law, Raman Patel fell on the floor. "I lifted him up from the floor and just when we reached the bottom of the staircase, another man accompanying Khan came running down the staircase, punched my father-in-law in the face and ran back to his table," said Sharma.
Sharma said that the hotel authorities then gave him some tissue paper for his bleeding nose, following which he left the hotel with Patel. "We went to a local clinic in the area and after we received first aid and had my nose xray done, we went to Colaba police station to file a complaint."
Sharma said that even if Khan were to apologise for his act, he would not accept the apology. "If he had to apologise, he should have done it at the time of the incident. And more than me, he should apologise to my father-in-law for assaulting a senior citizen. We are not going to accept any apologies, the law will take its course now," he said.
Patel, who has recently had a bypass surgery and has been suffering from a lung disorder, said that he did not expect such behavior from a person who is held in high esteem by innumerable people in the country.
"Celebrities are people who are looked up at by several people. You do not expect such rowdy behavior 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," said Patel, a doctor by profession.
Sharma was unaware that Khan was a celebrity at the time of the incident: "I did not that he is a Bollywood actor when the incident occurred. And I do not know if he was intoxicated then, but I can say that had he been sober, he would not have assaulted a senior citizen."