Mumbai: Sameer Wankhede, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director for Mumbai who led the alleged Aryan Khan drug bust, Sunday approached Mumbai Police chief Hemant Nagrale asking him to ensure no “precipitate”, or hasty, legal action is carried out to frame him with “ulterior motives”.
Wankhede shot off a letter to Nagrale on the same day a witness in the case claimed he was made to sign on a blank paper and alleged talks of a payoff worth crores, pointing to the NCB zonal director as one of the beneficiaries. The NCB released a statement in response to witness Prabhakar Sail’s claims, saying Wankhede has categorically denied the allegations.
Signed by Wankhede, the letter reads, “It has come to my notice that some precipitate legal action for framing me falsely is being planned by unknown persons in relation to alleged vigilance related issues in NCB Cr No. 94/2021 (the Aryan Khan case)…
“It is also brought to your notice that threat of jail and dismissal have been issued against the undersigned on public media by highly respectable public functionaries.”
Wankhede also said NCB Deputy Director General Ashok Mutha Jain has already referred the matter to the body’s director general for necessary action.
Earlier this month, Wankhede had filed a complaint with the Union government alleging that his movements were being tracked, and that he was being followed by Mumbai Police.
Allegations against Wankhede
Sail, the panch witness who made the allegations against Wankhede, said Sunday that he had heard K.P. Gosavi, another witness the former is associated with, speaking to one Sam D’Souza, asking him to quote Rs 25 crore and settle at Rs 18 crore because “Rs 8 crore needs to be given to Sameer Wankhede (sic)”.
Gosavi is the man who was seen escorting Aryan Khan to the NCB office after the raid despite not being associated with the agency. He has allegedly absconded since.
Sail, who made the allegations in an affidavit and video statement, also claimed he was coming forward because he was scared of Sameer Wankhede.
Sail’s claims prompted strong comments from members of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik, who has held several press conferences with the aim of poking holes in the alleged 2 October bust, said he intends to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil to demand a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe in the issue.
“This is a conspiracy by Wankhede. There were never any questions raised on the agency earlier, but an officer applies to come to the NCB, he gets fame recognition and terrorises the film industry and runs an extortion racket. This is a serious issue,” he added.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut tweeted a video that Sail allegedly took while inside the NCB office, where Gosavi can purportedly be seen asking Aryan Khan to speak to someone on the mobile phone.
Witnes in #AryanKhan case made to sign on blank paper by NCB is shocking. Also thr r reports that thr ws demnd of huge money .CM UddhavThackeray said tht ths cases r made 2 defame Mah'shtra.Ths seems 2b comng tru @Dwalsepatil
Police shd tk suo moto cognizance@CMOMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/zipBcZiRSm
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) October 24, 2021
Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “Prabhakar Sail has given an affidavit, a video and also given a chronology of how they met with Sameer Wankhede, how they left there, ate frankies. Through CCTVs it can be verified. Union government is using central agencies to defame rivals.
“Democracy is in danger because of this and if officials too are benefiting from it then it is very serious. The Maharashtra government should inquire into this with its own machinery.”
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)