Kaif sees assult case as misunderstanding

Following a police complaint against Kaif on charges of assaulting a photojournalist in Chandigarh, he said the incident a "misunderstanding".

updated: November 23, 2007 14:39 IST
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Chandigarh/ New Delhi:

Following a police complaint against Mohammed Kaif on charges of assaulting a photojournalist in Chandigarh the night before, the cricketer on Thursday said the incident involving him was a "misunderstanding".

Kaif appeared before journalists here in the office of the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of the city's south division, and shook hands with the photographer, Ravi Kumar.

"All the best," Kaif told Kumar.

"The incident has shaken me. I could not sleep the whole night. My relatives and friends kept calling to enquire about the news, (which) was flashed on TV channels. I wish both sides of the story had been given (publicity). I am here to play for my team for the match starting tomorrow (Friday)," Kaif said in an apologetic tone.

The scribe had accused Kaif of manhandling him when the cricketer came out of a cinema hall in Sector 34 after watching "Om Shanti Om".

Kaif allegedly assaulted the journalist after objecting to his photographs being taken. He also snatched the camera of the photojournalist and deleted his pictures.

The journalist alleged that Kaif used abusive language against him in public.

However, sources close to Kaif's family in New Delhi said the alleged scuffle occurred because the cricketer had refused to give an interview, citing board rules.

According to a close aide, the batsman, who is in Chandigarh for a Ranji Trophy match against Punjab starting in Mohali Friday, said no to the interview as Indian board rules prohibit players from speaking to the media.

"I spoke to his father (Mohammed Tarif) after the incident and he said that Kaif simply declined to give an interview to the journalist," the source said.

Police officials investigating the incident said Kaif had not been arrested and a compromise was being worked out.

Journalists shouted slogans against the cricketer and Chandigarh police outside the hotel in Sector 35 where Kaif was staying.

Kaif, who has played 13 Tests and 125 one-day internationals, is currently out of favour and is trying to stage a comeback to the Indian team. The Uttar Pradesh captain scored 34 and an unbeaten 122 against Andhra Pradesh last week.

Regarding the FIR, the DSP said that legal opinion would be sought on this matter only after the complaint was withdrawn.