Hailing the clean chit given by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in the ‘drugs on cruise’ case, the ruling NCP in Maharashtra on Friday asked who would be held responsible for the trauma he suffered.
It also said that the then zonal director of the NCB, Sameer Wankhede, was answerable to the people of this country.
Ally Congress alleged that the entire case was part of a “larger conspiracy” to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, in which it shares power with the Shiv Sena and NCP.
The NCB on Friday gave a clean chit to Aryan Khan in the October 2021 ‘drugs on cruise’ case in which he was arrested last year. Officials of the NCB, which filed its chargesheet in a Mumbai court, said Aryan Khan and five others had not been named due to “lack of sufficient evidence”.
Asserting that its Special Investigation Team (SIT) carried out its probe in an “objective manner”, the federal anti-drugs agency said in a statement in Delhi that “the touchstone of the principle of proof beyond reasonable doubt has been applied”.
Reacting to the development, NCP spokesman Clyde Crasto said, “If Aryan Khan was clean, why was he tainted? What was the motive? Who will be held responsible for the trauma this young man suffered? Many questions arise.” Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said truth has ultimately prevailed. “We were saying from day one that the case was part of a larger conspiracy to destablise the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government (of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress),” he said.
NCP’s chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said the NCB giving a clean chit to Aryan Khan proves that Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik was right when he had said that the case was fake.
Malik had criticised the way raids were conducted and witnesses identified, he said.
“Whatever Malik said holds ground. Witnesses had claimed that they were made to sign on blank papers and there were financial transactions involved. Sameer Wankhede is answerable to the people of this country,” he said.
The writing on the wall is very clear that the objections raised by NCP minister Nawab Malik regarding the way the entire raid was conducted and selection of witnesses having close affinity with the BJP was valid, Tapase alleged.
“Nawab Malik raised serious questions over the functioning and character of Sameer Wankhede. We have always maintained that the NCB is a very credible organisation having impeccable track record, but the way things were happening in the recent times put question marks on the conduct of the organisation,” Tapase said.
Malik made serious allegations against Wankhede, thereby drawing the ire of some powerful people in Delhi. Today, Malik is paying a price for speaking the truth, he added.
Aryan Khan was arrested in the case by the NCB on October 3 last year and released from jail later that month after being granted bail. An NCB team led by Wankhede had conducted a raid on the cruise ship, after which 20 persons, including Aryan Khan, were arrested.