Bollywood star in police probe
Mumbai - Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan faced a police probe and a lifetime ban from Mumbai's main cricket stadium on Thursday following a furious late-night row with staff at the ground, officials said.
The actor, who co-owns the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders, took a group of youngsters including his daughter Suhana onto the Wankhede Stadium pitch after a match on Wednesday night.
A security guard tried to stop the children from playing, leading the multi-millionaire actor to argue angrily for 10-15 minutes before finally giving up and leaving the premises, an AFP photographer witnessed.
"Security officials told him to leave, but Shah Rukh Khan started the brawl," Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) secretary Nitin Dalal told NDTV news.
"He entered the ground half an hour after the game. The officers told him that this was not the right time. He misbehaved and he used foul language."
Dalal said the MCA had filed a police complaint and would ban the 46-year-old cricket-crazy star from future attendance at the Wankhede Stadium.
Speaking outside his Mumbai home on Thursday, Khan denied accusations that he was drunk or behaving illegally, saying he had become angry when officials at the stadium abused him and "physically manhandled" the children.
"They were being aggressive and I became aggressive back," he told reporters, saying the MCA owed him an apology.
MCA treasurer Ravi Savant said the stadium ban on Khan would be "for life".
"He'll not be allowed for any match - Test match, one-day international or any T20 or IPL matches hereafter. That is what we have decided," he said.
Khan is one of the Bollywood film industry's most popular stars, but his sweaty and dishevelled appearance during the incident was a far cry from the carefully managed image presented through his advertising and acting roles.
The actor was embroiled in another ugly row in January after a female director accused him of assaulting her husband at a late-night party.
Khan has also been summoned to appear before a court in Jaipur later this month after he was seen smoking at that city's main cricket stadium, in violation of anti-smoking laws.
Balbir Punj, a senior leader of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, told NDTV that Khan was an icon and public figure who "should know how to behave in public".
He referred to an incident last month that saw Khan detained for questioning by US immigration authorities when he arrival at a New York airport.
"When he was humiliated in America, the entire country stood by him. He should respect others and the law must take its course," Punj said.