Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has been banned by the the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) from entering Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium for five years. The MCA, which administers Wankhede, says it is well within its right to bar the popular actor from entering the stadium, but the the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) says it has the last word on the matter.
The head of the MCA, Vilasrao Deshmukh, announced the association's decision to ban Shah Rukh this morning. He said after his fight at the stadium on Wednesday night, the actor had "shown no regrets for his action and behaviour...in fact, he justified his actions of manhandling security guards and abusing MCA officials." Mr Deshmukh said that the MCA considered a life ban but then unanimously decided that they would ban him from the stadium for five years to send a message to everyone.
In Delhi, Mr Deshmukh's cabinet colleague and fellow Congressman Rajiv Shukla, who is chairman of the IPL, said the MCA could propose a ban, but the BCCI would make a final call.
A police complaint has been registered against the actor for voluntarily causing hurt and for criminal intimidation - because this is a non-cognizable offence, SRK as he is known cannot be arrested. The police will study all the statements made so far by everyone involved in the incident, including eyewitnesses, to chalk out the exact sequence of events and then will corroborate it with CCTV footage from stadium. The MCA reportedly reviewed the footage before announcing its decision today.
Shah Rukh Khan said on Thursday that he was provoked after security guards touched a group of children he was accompanying, which included his daughter. Photographs of the brawl show his daughter, holding his arm as he confronts officials and the guard. The MCA says that the actor should recognize that officials showed "great restraint" in how they handled the situation. "If anybody behaves like this...whosoever it may be...action will be taken," Mr Deshmukh said. He also said that while the actor has said he was trying to protect children, no complaint has been registered by SRK against the guards or officials.
SRK's scuffle at Wankhede stadium
The trouble began on Wednesday night when SRK's team was playing the Mumbai Indians. SRK did not attend the match but arrived there later to pick up his children and their friends. In his police complaint, the security guard, Vikas Dalvi, says he saw SRK and his entourage in the players' dressing room and asked them to vacate it because it can only be used by team members. The actor and his entourage then tried to walk onto the grounds of the stadium, the guard says. Mr Dalvi says when he tried to stop them, he was told "We have bought this place...who are you to stop us?" Mr Dalvi's complaint says that three members of Shah Rukh's entourage pushed him.
A complaint by an official of the MCA, Nitin Dalal, who was present during the fight states that SRK appeared drunk and used abusive language against officials, including obliquely against Mr Deshmukh.
Shah Rukh Khan has categorically denied that he was drunk when he went to the stadium. Or that he pushed or manhandled anyone. He admits he used abusive language; he says he got angry when he saw stadium officials pushing the children, who were playing with a ball on the sidelines.
Fitness expert Deanne Pandey, whose children were among those that had accompanied Shah Rukh Khan's children to the stadium said, "My son was there with SRK & other kids, @iamsrk did the right thing by protecting our babies, why doesn't the media/officers see that, so angry," she had tweeted. The photograph used here shows the children playing on the field.
He has also found much support in the film industry.