Mumbai: Saif Ali Khan was on Wednesday night arrested and released by the police on bail after being charged with assaulting an NRI businessman who protested the raucous chatter of the Bollywood actor and his friends in a restaurant at a luxury hotel on Tuesady midnight.

The 41-year-old actor and his two friends were booked under sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intent) of IPC for assaulting a South African businessman of Indian origin Iqbal Sharma at 'Wasabi', a Japanese restaurant at the Taj Hotel.

Khan, Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi were brought to the Colaba police station around 8 PM in a police vehicle and whisked inside through the rear entrance amid a large media and public presence.

All the three were enlarged on bail after the completion of the formalities that took about an hour, police said.

According to sources, Khan had left his lawyer's office at Gamdevi in his own car but boarded the police vehicle near Nariman Point where he and others were arrested before being brought to the police station.

Since the actor was booked under lighter, bailable sections of the penal law, he was granted bail by the police instead of having been approached to the court.

There was a tight security at the police station which was out of bounds for the media.

The brawl broke out a little past midnight when Sharma, seated along with his family at a table adjacent to that occupied by Khan, his companion actress Kareena Kapoor and others, complained to the hotel management about their noisy chatter.

According to the complaint, the actor accosted Sharma near the staircase at the entrance of the restaurant and after some heated arguments, punched him on the nose, causing a fracture

"I was assaulted and I was just defending myself. It was an ugly incident and even I have lodged a complaint," says Saif Ali Khan.

Saif says he only defended himself

Calling Wednesday night’s brawl as an "ugly incident", Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan said he was assaulted first and inturn he was only defending himself.

Khan was arrested by Colaba police on the charge of assaulting South African businessman Iqbal Sharma but later released on bail as the sections under which he was booked were bailable.

"There was an ugly incident last night where my friend and the ladies with us were abused and I was assaulted. I was hit and I was only defending myself," Khan said in a statement.

The actor further said that he has answered to all the requirements of law by attending the police station and that he has also filed a complaint regarding the incident last night.

"I am confident that justice will be done. I think they (police) have the CCTV footage from the restaurant and that will prove everything. I have seen the interviews given by them (victim) and they look like decent people. 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," he said.

Requesting the media to remain impartial while the matter is being decided, Khan said, "I don't think any gentleman would have behaved any differently than what I did."

(Agencies)