Mumbai: A top investigating officer at the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), who is spearheading the Mumbai drugs case involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan submitted some CCTV footages alleging that he is being spied, revealed NCB sources. The investigation is being led by NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede who also carried out the raid on the cruise ship off Mumbai coast earlier this month, leading to the arrest of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt, Munmun Dhamecha, among other.
Sources in the agency said Mr Wankhede and senior officer Mutha Jain have met the Maharashtra police chief to complain about the monitoring. The officer has complained that he has come to know that some people were “tracking his movements”, NCB sources said.
Agency sources said they found out that two persons, claiming to be police officers, accessed CCTV footage from a Kabristan (cemetery) where Mr Wangkhede visits regularly as his mother is buried there.
Mr Wankhede has refused to comment on the issue, saying the matter is “very serious”.
“There are no orders to follow the NCB officer,” Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Patil told reporters today.
On the allegations, Mutha Jain told reporters: “Whatever you people are asking is already in papers. We have already spoken to Maharashtra cops… I don’t want to make any more comments.”
For a third time, Aryan Khan was refused bail on Monday, with the agency contending that he has to be questioned with the other accused to track the international drug cartel that is involved in the matter.
Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant, and six others were arrested last week. The agency did not find any drugs on Aryan Khan, but said his WhatsApp chats were incriminating.
The arrest of Aryan Khan is now snowballing into a political issue, with leaders of Maharashtra’s ruling alliance questioning the agency’s handling of the case.
Last week, Nawab Malik, a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, said the man who took a viral selfie with Aryan Khan after his detention is a private investigator, KP Gosavi, and questioned how outsiders were allowed in an operation conducted by a central agency.
Mr Malik also said Manish Bhanushali, a senior leader of the BJP, was also seen in visuals of the raids. This, he said, proved a BJP hand in “maligning Maharashtra with a fake drug bust”.
Both Manish Bhanushali and the agency have denied the allegations. “The BJP has nothing to do with it (the arrests). I received information on October 1 that a drugs party was to be held. I was with the NCB officers (at the ship) for more information,” Mr Bhanushali was quoted as saying by a media house.
The anti-drugs agency has named both the men as “independent witnesses” to the raids. Calling the allegations “baseless”, agency officer Gyaneshwar Singh said “The NCB reiterates its procedure has been and continues to be legally and professionally transparent and unbiased”.
For the unversed, Aryan Khan was arrested on Saturday after a raid on a cruise ship going from Mumbai to Goa. A total of 16 people have been arrested so far – including those that helped organise the event.
Though no drugs was found on him, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) – while seeking an extension of his custody that ends today – had made the case that his WhatsApp chats suggested involvement of international drug cartels, thus, 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 Archit Kumar, who they said, was arrested on the basis of Aryan Khan’s statement.
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.