Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan who was arrested Wednesday evening with two others for assaulting an NRI businessman, was later released on bail along with the others after being interrogated. Police detained Saif and his friends Bilal Amrohi and actor Amrita Arora’s husband Shakeel Ladak at the Marine Drive police station, and later brought them to the Colaba police station. The interrogation of the trio – about the incident early Wednesday at the Taj Mahal hotel in which Saif is accused of assaulting South African NRI businessman Iqbal Sharma – lasted one hour. They were formally arrested and then given bail on personal bonds of Rs 3,000 each.
According to sources, Shakeel Ladak is said to have hit Sharma’s father-in-law in the scuffle. Shakeel and Bilal’s lawyer Mahesh Vaswani said: “Iqbal and his group of people were passing comments on the girls (who were part of Saif’s group), and that started the incident.”
On his part, Saif said he had only “defended” himself after being “assaulted”. “There was an ugly incident last night (Tuesday) where my friends and the ladies with us were abused and I was assaulted. I was hit and I defended myself,” Saif said in a statement. “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,” he added.
A battery of top police officers were waiting for the actor at the Colaba police station, besides the media and scores of fans. In the afternoon, police sent a team to Saif’s house and after failing to locate him there, had ordered him to appear before them as early as possible. Saif was virtually declared ‘wanted’ when he went incommunicado after assaulting Sharma, who is also the director general and CEO of the Trade, Industry & Investments of South Africa. The actor has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly assaulting Sharma in the Taj Mahal hotel around 1am. Wednesday morning. Police said a case of assault had been registered at the Colaba police station. Police are also questioning staff at the hotel and examining the CCTV footage. Legal experts that the offences for which Saif has been booked are bailable.