The country’s anti-drugs agency has been running a “network” in Mumbai for the last one year “for only and only publicity,” a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party or NCP told NDTV today, hours after superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son was taken under judicial custody for a bail hearing tomorrow morning in a drugs bust case.
NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) actions are aimed at defaming the state, where the Congress and the NCP along with the BJP’s former ally, Shiv Sena, is in power.
“From Rhea Chakraborty to Deepika Padukone, other celebrities or Aryan Khan, the NCB will only act wherever there is publicity involved. Many of the cases are fake; no recovery has been made,” Mr Malik told NDTV today.
“The ‘goods’ are brought to the NCB’s zonal director’s office, and the NCB says it has ‘recovered’ them. No recovery has been made from any spot, any home. Photographs of so-called seized items are taken at the NCB’s office only and sent out as ‘media sources’,” Mr Nawab alleged.
The NCP had also questioned the presence of two people along with the NCB team during the search in a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on Sunday. One of the two men, Manish Bhanushali, is a BJP worker and had gone to the cruise ship for what he claimed was to be the NCB’s eyewitness.
“(Sameer) Wankhede (NCB’s zonal director) after the raid that day said there were 8-10 people in NCB custody. Later in court, an officer brought 3, and then 5 accused. An officer who conducted the raid is giving vague statements. Either it was 8 or 10. Today, I am very sure that 10 people were detained that day. The NCB let off 2 people – one was the person who called everyone to the cruise ship for the raid but ended up being detained, and the other was a relative of a BJP leader,” Mr Malik told NDTV.
“All these are happening under Mr Wankhede. I am speaking very responsibly, I will release evidence tomorrow to prove there was a man under the NCB and a Mumbai BJP leader’s in-law linked to the case,” Mr Malik said. “We feel the entire matter is fake.”
“After Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, a new NCB Mumbai director was brought in. For 35 years the NCB was never involved in publicity. The publicity game started only in the last one year. They are working to defame the government and Bollywood, and trying to make a fake case of nexus between Bollywood and politicians. This is a big conspiracy to defame the government and mislead the press,” the NCP leader told NDTV, adding the narcotics agency whose mandate is to bust big drugs rings in the country and at the international level is only defaming Maharashtra and Bollywood with a few grams of alleged seizures.
Aryan Khan’s lawyer Satish Manshinde had made the case that no drugs were found on him and he cannot be held responsible for the seizures made from others. But Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had argued that the case “has to be looked at in its entirety”.
Though no drugs was found on Aryan Khan, the NCB had made the case that his WhatsApp chats suggested involvement of international drug cartels and need deeper scrutiny. Aryan Khan also has to be confronted with a couple of men who have been arrested, the agency contended in court, referring to Achit Kumar, who they said, was arrested on the basis of Aryan Khan’s statement yesterday.
The agency had said Archit Kumar was the person supplying him with drugs and in the WhatsApp chats between Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, payment for drugs were discussed.