Mumbai: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been banned from the Wankhede Stadium by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), which has also filed a police complaint accusing the actor of being drunk and misbehaving, abusing, manhandling, using filthy language against guards and abusing a woman, after Wednesday evening's match, which his IPL team the Kolkata Knight Riders won against the Mumbai Indians. Shah Rukh is yet to comment, but sources say, he was provoked by some communal remarks made about him.
The MCA, which administers the Wankhade stadium, alleges that the actor tried to force his way onto the grounds after the match and when he was prevented from doing so, got abusive and pushed people. The actor, who met his IPL team in Mumbai a short while ago, has said nothing yet, but is expected to address the press some time today. KKR sources say that the incident was not unprovoked as the MCA officals claim it was. They claim that abuses were hurled both by officials and the actor after some communal remarks were about Shah Rukh. The actor, they allege, got upset when his son and his classmates, who wanted to play on the sidelines, were "manhandled."
Central minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who heads the MCA, said, "I was told he used abusive language...they tried to pacify him but he wasn't in the mood," he said. In Delhi, Rajiv Shukla, the chairman of the IPL said that reports of a ban are incorrect. He said a decision has yet to be taken, and that the version of "the franchisee" will also be considered. There are no other matches scheduled for his team at the Wankhede Stadium for the rest of the tournament.
The Mumbai Police say they are verifying facts in the complaint that the MCA has filed against Shah Rukh Khan, the Morani brothers and others. ACP Iqbal Sheikh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the actor, who smelt of alcohol, seemed to have taken umbrage at some members of his entourage being told not to be on the ground. He also said that smelling of alcohol was not an offence and he was sure the actor had not been drinking at the stadium.
The top cop said he arrived at the site of the scuffle late and had whisked away the actor to defuse the situation. Shah Rukh, he said, was shouting abuses as he was pulled away. "There was a heated argument...only foul language was used," the cop said.
The police said they are trying to trace witnesses to piece together the incident as it happened. They would call the actor in only if required, ACP
The MCA is holding its ground. "We have decided to ban him for life from entering the stadium in future," MCA treasurer Ravi Savant said, adding "SRK was dead drunk, our security tried to stop him but he pushed him and abused in such filthy language that I cannot use it here."
Mr Savant said after KKR's 32-run rout of the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Shah Rukh and his posse of bodyguards went up to the teams' dressing room and then came down and tried to go on to the ground.
The actor has been caught in controversy before when he was seen smoking on April 8 at the Sawai Man Singh in Jaipur much to the disapproval of many. This is also the second brawl that the actor has allegedly been involved in in recent times. Some months ago he was reported to have got into a scuffle with Shirish Kunder, the husband of director Farah Khan at a private party hosted by Sanjay Dutt in Mumbai.
The Shah Rukh controversy also comes very soon after the cash-rich T-20 tournament was rocked by a sting operation conducted by a TV news channel, in which five IPL players were purportedly caught on camera indulging in spot-fixing and other "murky deals." A BCCI inquiry into that will begin today. Ravi Sawani, who heads the BCCI's anti-corruption unit will conduct the inquiry.
The five accused players have been suspended pending the inquiry report.