The Narcotics Control Bureau’s Zonal Director, Sameer Wankhede has issued a statement in which he has said that he is being targeted for his “dead mother and her religion.”
“I have come to know about a recent tweet by Nawab Malik regarding caste certificate. This is a shoddy attempt to bring in things that are unrelated to (the drugs case). My mother was Muslim... (why) does he want to bring my dead mother into this?” agency sources quoted Wankhede as saying, as per a report in NDTV.
“To verify my caste and background anyone can visit my native place and verify my descent from my great-grandfather. But he should not spread this filth like this. I will fight all this legally and don't want to comment too much on this out of court,” he added.
Wankhede approached a special court in Mumbai on Monday against allegations of extortion levelled against them in the cruise drugs seizure case, in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is an accused.
Wankhede’s request came after Prabhakar Sail, the 'independent witness', in the case had told media that he had overheard KS Gosavi telling one Sam D'Souza over the phone after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office after the October 3 raid about a demand of Rs 25 crore and "to settle at Rs 18 crore as they have to give Rs eight crore to Sameer Wankhede". Sail is the personal bodyguard of Gosavi, who is absconding in a 2018 job cheating case.
In his affidavit submitted to the court, Wankhede refuted the allegations levelled against him, and claimed he was under a "lurking threat of arrest as it does not suit some vested interests for conducting an honest and impartial investigation".
He also claimed that he was being personally targeted by a well-known political figure, and the only reason he can fathom is that the NCB had arrested "this person's son-in-law Sameer Khan". Notably, Sameer Khan is the son-in-law of NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik.
The NCB and Wankhede in their affidavits, submitted to the court designated to hear cases related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), also said the allegations against them were an attempt to create hurdles and scuttle the investigation in the case.
Without taking names, Wankhede, an IRS officer of the 2008 batch, claimed in his letter that the threat of jail and dismissal have been issued against him on public media by highly respectable public functionaries.
The NCB, on Sunday, while stating that Wankhede has categorically denied the allegations, also said that as the matter is sub judice, Sail should have submitted his prayer to the court if he had anything to say.
Mumbai NCB's Deputy Director General (DDG) Mutha Ashok Jain issued a statement saying that he came to know through social media that Sail is a witness in the case.
"As he (Sail) is a witness in the case and the case is before the honourable court and is sub judice, he needs to submit his prayer to the court rather than through social media if he has anything to say," the statement said.
In addition, there are certain vigilance-related allegations against certain persons in the affidavit, which are based on overhearing by Prabhakar Sail, it said.
"Zonal Director of Mumbai NCB Sameer Wankhede has categorically denied these allegations. As some of the contents of the affidavit are related to vigilance matter, we are hereby forwarding the affidavit to the Director General (DG) NCB and requesting him for further necessary action," the statement added.
An NCB team led by Wankhede earlier this month allegedly seized drugs onboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast following which Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3. He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. His bail application is likely to be heard by the Bombay High Court on October 26.
(With Inputs From PTI)