Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saif Ali Khan or Iqbal Sharma: Whose fault is it ? Eyewitness Information

We all know about Saif Ali Khan’s allegedly hitting South African businessman Iqbal Sharma at Taj Mahal Hotel’s Wasabi restaurant in Mumbai on February 23, 2012. Saif and his male friends were arrested and then released on bail in an hour after surety was furnished by their lawyer. The topic is still red hot with the women and friends of the respective parties defending their favorites.

Here is what girlfriend Kareena Kapoor has to say about Saif Ali Khan’s innocence

Saif was provoked. He's a thorough gentleman and would never get into a brawl, especially with women around.We were having dinner at Wasabi (a restaurant in Mumbai) when Iqbal stormed into our corner and started screaming at us. The only people present at that time were Sharma's group and ours. We were laughing and talking, but certainly not screaming! There was no reason for this man to come to our table and shout at Saif. Even so, Saif said sorry but he continued to rant.

Now he's saying he didn't know that there were actors present at the table. But his wife Tarina (who has acted in "Dhol" and "Bhool Bhulaiyya") and Malaika had greeted each other just a little while before! The funny thing is when Tarina saw her husband making a scene, instead of stopping him she got into the lift and ran away!

The fight happened when Iqbal was returning from the washroom and Saif was going down. Iqbal pushed Saif and the old man joined in. When Shakeel (Ladak) and Bilal (Amrohi) saw this, they came to his rescue. Saif is very respectful towards seniors and he knows how to behave in public places. I am not saying this because I am in a relationship with him. It's a fact.

Saif was also hit and has a swollen eye. He has given a statement and each one of us stand by it. We were witness to what happened and this is a sure case of Saif being targeted because of his celebrity status. It's disgusting!

Here is what wife Tarina Patel has to tell about her husband Iqbal Sharma’s innocence –

First of all, let me tell you my husband is not some star-struck foreigner in India. He comes from the biggest political family in South Africa. He is Fatima Meer's nephew. His family was instrumental in getting Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa. My husband is a truly peace-loving person. His uncle and Nelson Mandela were best friends. He's in and out of Mumbai doing business, negotiating trade on behalf of South Africa with India for the last ten years. He comes from a very distinguished family. Though I stay in South Africa with my husband, I too am in and out of Mumbai all the time. My husband has a great deal of business in Mumbai. As you may know India and South Africa have great trade relations and my husband is a pivotal part of it.

When prodded about Kareena saying that Iqbal and Tarina were seeking publicity and that Iqbal could not talk for such long hours with a broken nose giving TV interviews, Tarina Patel shoots back , “My husband talks through his mouse, not thorough his nose. We had no idea asking people to lower their voices in a restaurant was such a provocation that it would warrant a broken nose for my husband. I am so sorry about Bebo's stress level caused by our objection to their volume level. We didn’t even ask them to lower the volume, we just asked the management to do so. “

Tarina recounts what happened at that night, “he noise was so unbearable that we decided to move downstairs. We were on the way down and waiting for the lift when this happened. Saif was on the way up. This was certainly not normal behaviour. We were willing to go to the police station and submit ourselves to a blood test. But they were not willing to do the same. In fact he (Saif) went missing for 20 hours. He told us to f**k off to a library if we wanted peace. Frankly my husband was more stunned than me. I've known this film industry because I work here. My husband is clueless about the ways of Bollywood actors. He didn't know who Saif or Kareena are. Why should he? He knows who Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan is. Beyond that my husband or the rest of my family doesn't know the industry and they don't care.”

Tarina says that she cannot keep quiet because Saif not only hit her husband but also her father, a 69 year old doctor. “He hit my father. My father is a gentle doctor. He saves lives. How would your daughter react if she saw you hit? I am hurt beyond reason by what happened. And to now have Kareena say I'm doing this for publicity!

As for Kareena Kapoor saying that she fled the scene during the brawl, Tarina says, “Ha ha. Right. Everything happened so suddenly I couldn't even move from where we were. When it happened we called security. The ladies with that person (Saif) have said I didn't intervene. I am sorry we have not been brought up to deal with public brawls. What baffles me is if Saif was so innocent, why did he run away ?”

Tarina Patel, a Bollywood actress who has done a few roles in movies like Chase, Bhool Bhulaiya says that she is not bothered by the boycott from the film industry. She replies,” You'd be surprised at how many people from the industry have come forward in our support and have offered to support me all the way. Please go ahead and quote on everything. I don't need money from Bollywood to support myself or my family. I come from a very wealthy family. I don't do films for money. I do it because I've a strong creative streak. I actually come from a medical background. So they can bar me from Bollywood. You think I care? But I won't sell my soul to get little films after what they did to my family. I'm willing never to work in this industry. But I won't allow what was done to my father and husband to go unpunished.”

A few key personalities including Salman Khan and Bollywood actreses like Malaika Arora are coming in support of Saif. But Tarina says, “Now the matter is in the hands of the lawyers. I want justice to be done, no matter what it takes. Saif has gone on television to apologize. That isn't the same as apologizing to my father and husband. He claims to be apologetic and yet the ladies are slandering me.” She adds, “I'm right now working in Priyadarshan's Malamaal Weekly 2. I've earlier done his Bhool Bhulaiya. I do a lot of work in South Africa and come here for work when I can. But that's not the point. I am not in this for publicity. If I was I'd have spoken to a thousand journalists who have tried to get in touch since the incident. I chose to remain in the shadows, took calls on my husband's behalf handing it to him. I was playing the phone operator. Kareena is accusing me of taking publicity, this just shows the caliber of these people, they are all about media and publicity”

Eye-witness account
An eye-witness on anonymity at the Wasabi Hotel says, " Saif Ali Khan with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapur, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora Ladak and another guy (Amrita's husband Shakeel) arrived at Wasabi for dinner post drinks at Harbour Bar. Iqbal and his guests were already there and were just about leaving after dinner. But Saif and his gang were really making a lot of noise. Iqbal complained to the Maitre d'. The manager closed the curtains of the private dining room but the noise was just too much. Saif took leave to go to the washroom. When he was returning, Iqbal starting abusing him. This enraged Saif and the two got into scuffle with Saif breaking Iqbal’s nose while he got it in the eye. Saif also ripped Iqbal’s kurta.

The restaurant guys gave Iqbal a Wasabi shirt to wear. An old couple with Iqbal reprimanded Saif for his behavior. The old lady spoke sternly to Saif and he politely apologized. She said ,’Tell sorry to them not me.” Saif said, :Forget it” and walked out. But by then, one of the guys in Saif’s group heard the old lady’s husband saying “Terrible.” He turned around and slapped the old man who fell down.

Iqbal was clearly shocked and said that he wanted to take this up with the police. The hotel staff said that he could file a report, but they tried to steer him away from going to police. Iqbal and his family went to the hospital, got the nose bandaged and then I believe, drove straight to the police station. . All this happened around midnight. The police came to the hotel at 3am and asked the restaurant staff for details of what happened. Everything, except what happened at Wasabi, is on CCTV, as the hotel does not keep cameras in the dininng areas. “

So, guys what do you think who is at fault, Saif Ali Khan or Iqbal Sharma ?


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