The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday transferred six of its cases, including the drugs-on-cruise one in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was granted bail a week ago, from the Mumbai team to their Delhi counterparts.
The move came amid serious allegations of extortion being levelled against the NCB and its Mumbai zone director Sameer Wankhede. However, Wankhede said it was his writ petition that the matter be probed by a central team and that he was not removed from the case.
“Six cases of our zone will now be investigated by Delhi teams (of NCB), including Aryan Khan’s case and five other cases. It was an administrative decision,” said Mutha Ashok Jain, the deputy director-general of south-western region of NCB.
The action has been taken on “administrative grounds” as these six have “wider and inter-state ramifications”, said Jain.
He said the order for transfer of cases has been issued by NCB Director General (DG) SN Pradhan.
Wankhede, who is facing a number of personal and service-related allegations, will continue to be the zonal director of the Mumbai arm of NCB.
“I have not been removed from the investigation. It was my writ petition in court that the matter be probed by a central agency. So, the Aryan case and Sameer Khan case are being probed by Delhi NCB’s SIT. It’s coordination between NCB teams of Delhi and Mumbai,” Wankhede was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
However, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, who had launched a tirade against Wankhede and levelled several allegations against him, said the NCB officer’s removal from the case “is just the beginning”.
”Sameer Wankhede removed from 5 cases including the Aryan Khan case. There are 26 cases in all that need to be probed. This is just the beginning… a lot more has to be done to clean this system and we will do it,” the NCP leader said.
Countering this, the NCB asserted that no officer has been removed from their duty.
“No officer or officers have been removed from their present roles and they will continue to assist the Operations Branch investigation as required until any specific orders are issued to the contrary. It is reiterated that NCB functions across India as a single integrated agency,” the agency said.
A team from Delhi will reach Mumbai on Sunday.
Wankhede had a rapid fall from grace after his team busted a rave party aboard a Goa-bound cruise and detained the Bollywood star’s son among several others on October 2. He was arrested a day later and was granted bail by the Bombay high court on October 30.
Maharashtra minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader brought several charges against him, including extortion and fraudulent use of caste card to secure his job.
Soon after, the senior officer was called to Delhi, while a team from the national capital came to Mumbai to probe the extortion allegations.
Meanwhile, the new twists kept coming in as the NCB’s own witnesses turned hostile and reiterated the extortion allegations.